Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

‘US-Bangladesh relations not defined by India, China, Russia’

  • Indo-Pacific is a leading priority for US foreign policy
  • Welcomed the release of Bangladesh’s Indo-Pacific Outlook in April 2023
Update : 25 Apr 2024, 06:21 PM

A United States (US) diplomat said the Dhaka-Washington relationship is driven by the nations’ shared history, common values, and future potential.

“It is not defined by India, China, Russia, or any third country,” Martin Maxwell, political officer at the US Embassy, said. 

“We do not expect every country to have the same assessment of China as we do,” he added.

He was briefing reporters about the US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy at the embassy on Thursday.

“US-Bangladesh cooperation to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific is just one aspect of our wide-ranging bilateral relationship,” he said.

As the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing region, the Indo-Pacific is a leading priority for US foreign policy and essential to shared global security and prosperity.

Bangladesh also released its strategy.

“We welcomed the release of Bangladesh’s Indo-Pacific Outlook in April 2023,” the official said.

“We have many common interests and look forward to engaging in them, particularly in building inclusive economic prosperity and environmental and social resilience in the face of 21st-century transnational threats,” he said.  

“The US Indo-Pacific Strategy is a positive, progressive, and shared vision for the region. The Indo-Pacific Strategy is not a military alliance, nor does it seek to become one. It is defined by what we stand for, not what we are against.

“It is not a club one can join, but a vision shared by many nations and peoples. Our vision is not about forcing countries to choose between the United States and any other partner.  It is about ensuring that the region is free and open so countries can freely make their own choices,” the official added. 

The US Indo-Pacific Strategy, released in February 2022, lays out a commitment and shared vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free and open and becomes ever more connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. 

Many countries and peoples in the Indo-Pacific share aspects of this vision for the region. 

“When we work together, we can build a better future together,” Martin Maxwell said. 

“Regarding relations in the region, many countries, including the United States, have vital economic or people-to-people ties with China that they want to preserve. Every nation will navigate its bilateral relations and interests differently.

“President Biden has made clear that the United States and China can and should work together on global challenges like climate change, macroeconomic stability, health security, and food security,” he said. 

“We seek to manage competition in the US-China relationship responsibly and are determined to avoid confrontation or conflict. However, managing competition responsibly takes willing parties. It requires strategic maturity to accept that we must maintain open lines of communication even as we compete.”

“The United States works closely with partners to ensure the Indo-Pacific region remains free, open, and accessible, to build connections within and beyond it, to drive regional prosperity, to bolster regional security, and to advance regional resilience to 21st-century transnational threats,” he said.

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