Bangladesh-India relations are very good. Despite various tensions, Indian Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Sringla has recently visited Bangladesh. New Indian Ambassador Vikram Doraiswamy is busy in Bangladesh and he is talking to various quarters.
Meanwhile, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan visited Bangladesh. Apparently all three countries say they want to have good relations with Bangladesh. Wants to be a partner in Bangladesh’s economic progress. Bangladesh’s diplomatic policy is ‘friendship with all is not enmity with anyone’
In that policy, Bangladesh is maintaining good relations with all. But the diplomatic community thinks that the sudden interest in Bangladesh by the three big powers is not just an economic relationship or just sympathy or love for Bangladesh. There is a specific reason for this interest.
The Bay of Bengal is strategically important in Southeast Asia for strategic reasons. Much of Southeast Asia’s military and geopolitical authority will depend on the Bay of Bengal. And that is why all three countries are interested in the Bay of Bengal, an invaluable resource of Bangladesh. The present government has made a lot of visible progress in the Bay of Bengal in the last one century.
First of all, Bangladesh has settled the maritime dispute with Myanmar and India through the International Court of Justice. Therefore, Bangladesh has established its authority in the sea. Second, Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in the Bay of Bengal through the Blue Economy. Third, Bangladesh has strengthened its military presence in the Bay of Bengal.
Bangladesh has already bought two submarines. It has taken a strategic position to protect the Bay of Bengal militarily. All three countries think that if their position in the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh can be consolidated, then it will be easier for them to control the politics of the region. China has been interested here for a long time.
Although China says economic diplomacy is their main goal, it is now clear that they are very interested in the Bay of Bengal. They have given several proposals and plans for the Bay of Bengal to the Bangladesh government. They want to provide financial support for various works including construction of deep sea port there.
This has become a headache for India. India is also interested in jointly investing and working with Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal. He said that he is especially interested in playing a role in increasing the naval power of Bangladesh. And it has become clear during the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Bigan that they want to work with Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal. And the progress that is being made in the Bay of Bengal wants to be a partner in that progress.
Due to this strategic reason, Bangladesh has become a very important and cherished state for the three countries. The key issue here is the issue of diplomatic balance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh says that the Bay of Bengal is a symbol of Bangladesh’s sovereignty and an integral part of Bangladesh. Bangladesh will not allow any other state to conduct military exercises or other military installations here.
However, Bangladesh will pursue a balanced diplomacy in developing the Bay of Bengal, building a deep economic port and building a large economic infrastructure around the Bay of Bengal, and Bangladesh may seek cooperation from all countries. Bangladesh will do nothing but its own sovereignty and its own diplomacy. Now it remains to be seen how Bangladesh can move forward by balancing with these three countries.