China on Wednesday told Bangladesh and the Indo-Pacific countries to reject “Cold War mentality and bloc politics” being created by the United States.
The statement by Liu Jinsong, the director-general of the Department of Asian Affairs in the Chinese foreign ministry, came a year after Beijing had asked Dhaka not to join the Quad grouping comprising India, the US, Japan and Australia, reported The Daily Star.
The grouping, led by the US, is seen as a means to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. On May 24, the Quad members had expressed their objection to any “provocative or unilateral attempt” to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific region. This statement was apparently in reference to China.
Beijing has opposed the grouping, seeing it as the Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that was formed during the Cold War to check the rise of the Soviet Union, according to the Hindustan Times. In February, China had said that Quad was a tool to contain its growth and a “deliberate move” to stoke confrontation.
On Wednesday, Liu told Bangladeshi Ambassador to China, Mahbub Uz Zaman, that the logic by the US for forming a Indo-Pacific strategy, the Aukus partnership, the Quad grouping and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework was “centrism and exceptionalism”.
Aukus is a trilateral security pact between Australia, the US and the United Kingdom. The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a partnership between 13 countries, including India and the US, that intends to offer its members an opportunity to counter China’s rising commercial presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the meeting with Zaman, Liu said that the US’ attempts were undermining regional cooperation framework and creating bloc confrontation, according to a press release.
“China believes that countries in the region, including Bangladesh, will bear in mind the fundamental interests of their own countries and the region, uphold independence, reject the Cold War mentality and bloc politics, safeguard true multilateralism and defend the hard-won environment for peace and development in the region,” he said.
The Chinese official also said that the US should understand that “unipolar hegemony wins no support, block confrontation has no future, and building ‘small yards with high walls’ and decoupling from or cutting off supply chains will bring no good to anyone”.