We welcome the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Beigun's visit that reinforces strong ties between Bangladesh and the US and greater cooperation between the two countries. We hope that this visit will bring enhanced economic benefits to us in terms of greater US investments and better opportunities for export of Bangladeshi goods to the US market. There is also hope that the US will help in the ongoing Rohingya crisis that Bangladesh has been unfairly burdened with and the solution to which necessitates international involvement.
According to foreign relations analysts US's new interest in Bangladesh for stronger ties stems from the latter's sustained growth and stability over the last decade and its geopolitical location.
In fact Stephen Beigun has mentioned the growing interest of US companies in various areas including trade, investment, agr-oprocessing industries, IT, pharmaceuticals, energy and Covid-19 vaccine cooperation. He also said that the US has been trying to influence Myanmar regarding the treatment and restoration of the rights of the Rohingyas and commented that all countries should work together to end this crisis.
This is of course reassuring news for Bangladesh. What is a bit worrying though is the increasing tensions between the US and China and India and China. Stephen Beigun's visit also coincides with the US's advancing into Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) and he has specifically mentioned, during this visit, Indo-China tension over the Line of Control in Galwan Valley as well as alluded to tensions (no doubt between US and China) over other countries in the region. The US Deputy Secretary of State has said that Bangladesh is a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region and that it will be "the centrepiece" of our (US's) work in the region.
We must emphasise here that Bangladesh does not want to be drawn into US's policy regarding China or any conflict between India and China as we are interested in having the best of relations with both India and China as well as the US, amity that we would like to continue to maintain as part of our traditional "friendship to all, malice to none" foreign policy advocated by Bangabandhu. In a world that is still reeling with the devastating human and economic costs of the Covid-19 pandemic, we hope that all countries will refrain from escalating political tensions that will only do more harm than good to the global community. The world is far too interconnected and collectively vulnerable to enemies like Covid-19 and climate change to afford geopolitical spats that can spiral into destructive conflicts.