Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh maintains close ties with everyone, not only with any particular country.
“We’re close to everyone – China, USA and India. Those who support our development, we’re with them,” she said in an interview with CNN, aired today.
The premier made the remark when CNN’s senior journalist Richard Quest mentioned that the US believes and is concerned that Bangladesh is “getting too close” to China.
Sheikh Hasina said China is one of Bangladesh’s development partners. China is investing here and they are involved in construction. “That’s all. We’re not dependent on anyone,” she said.
When her attention was drawn to Bangladesh’s stance on the so-called “Chinese debt trap”, the PM said, “We’re extremely cautious when taking loans or undertaking development project.”
She said Bangladesh takes majority of loans from different institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. “When it comes to Chinese loans, our case is not like Sri Lanka’s or others,” she said.
The PM said her government always considers the returns and the benefits before undertaking any development project.
Read: ‘Enjoying her own recipe for tea’: CNN’s Richard Quest tweets photo with PM Hasina
“Another thing is that we always try our best to develop our country with our own resources. We don’t take unnecessary loans or big projects. We always consider from which project we can get returns and to what extent people will be benefited,” she said.
'Bangladesh never supports any invasion'
The prime minister also told CNN that Bangladesh never supports any kind of invasion, rather it believes in peaceful resolution through dialogue.
“We believe in peaceful resolution. If there is any conflict, it can be solved through dialogue. We never support any kind of invasion or conflict,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh’s foreign policy is clear and transparent: “Friendship to all, malice to none.”
“So, when we see any human rights violation or invasion, we definitely oppose it,’’ she said.
She asked the global community to come forward to stop the war in Ukraine. ‘’I feel that the world should come forward to stop the war. Because, people are suffering,” she added.
She said a war cannot be dragged on by one side; it needs involvement from both sides. “I believe, each country has the right to maintain and protect its territory,” she added.
'International community should exert pressure on Myanmar to repatriate Rohingyas'
The premier said Bangladesh has called upon the international community to exert pressure on Myanmar to take their nationals back to their country.
She said this while replying to a question on what Bangladesh needs from the global community to deal with the Rohingya crisis.
Read: BGMEA ties up with CNN to promote 'Made in Bangladesh'
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is continuing a dialogue with Myanmar. But unfortunately Myanmar is not responding positively.
She said her government had already talked to China, ASEAN countries, Japan, USA and others countries and requested them to put pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals.
“Unfortunately, the Myanmar government is not listening to anybody. That is the problem,” she said.
The PM said Bangladesh had given shelter to the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds.
She said the Rohingya (12 lakh) are becoming a “big burden” for Bangladesh as it has to feed them alongside ensuring their basic rights despite the fact that the country is overpopulated.
“I have to feed them (Rohingyas). I have to ensure their basic needs,” she said.
The first episode of the interview was aired in the early hours of Tuesday and the second episode will be aired soon.