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Saturday, July 20th, 2024

Sheikh Hasina’s second visit to India in 15 days, understand what is China’s angle in the triangle of Teesta Master Plan?

New Delhi: Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, who recently came to Delhi to attend PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, is coming to India on 21 June. This is the second time in 15 days that Sheikh Hasina will be visiting New Delhi. In fact, after the India visit, the Bangladeshi PM is also scheduled to visit China. In such a situation, this visit is being seen as an attempt by the Bangladesh government towards a balancing act between India and China. It is believed that during this time the Prime Ministers of both will discuss and review the broad scope of bilateral relations.

Issues like rail and energy connectivity can be discussed
Apart from this, there can also be talks on rail, energy connectivity and many other important issues. However, experts are saying that during this time, there can also be talks between the Prime Ministers of the two countries regarding the Teesta Master Plan. In fact, after coming to power again in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina has recently given a statement in her country’s Parliament about getting a loan from China in view of implementing the Teesta Master Plan. China has again shown interest in this previously pending project. However, in the month of May, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra was also on a visit to Bangladesh, after meeting with him/her, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud had also said that India also wants to provide financial help for building a dam on Teesta.

Sheikh Hasina is expecting clarity from India
Harsh Pant, an expert on China affairs, says that it is natural that Sheikh Hasina would be expecting some kind of clarity from India before taking any step on China’s proposal on this issue, and this issue can be raised with the top leadership during her visit to India. he/she says that ‘wherever there is a scope for a different viewpoint between India and neighboring countries, China tries to enter there. Especially because of India, the Teesta issue is hanging for a long time, due to which Bangladesh has a negative approach towards India on this issue, people feel that India is not solving it. Although during 2014, India-Bangladesh came very close to solving it, but Mamata Banerjee had different views on it. That is why it could not move forward. Actually, the issue here is related to the jurisdiction between the state and the central government.

China has given this indication with its offer
he/she further says that through its new offer, China wants to signal that it is with Bangladesh. However, Hasina knows that if she goes with China, it will be an uncomfortable situation for India. This is why she must have given a statement in the Parliament to create some pressure on this issue. This is why before going to China, she must be coming to India and seeking clarity on what exactly India wants in this? After all, she would not want relations with India to sour on this issue because if the issue of Teesta is left aside, the relations between the two countries are going very well. But it is also clear that there is a lot of internal pressure on Sheikh Hasina. In such a situation, India will have to adopt a proactive approach to sideline China from here.

The economic conditions of Bangladesh increased the anger of the people
International affairs expert Rajiv Dogra also says something similar. he/she says that Bangladesh is in a changed situation compared to last year. Earlier it was in the role of an emerging economy economically, but the changed economic conditions have increased the anger of the people against the government, while Islamic parties are also raising their heads. In such a situation, any government tries to improve the economic conditions. China keeps its bank open for such a situation. It keeps trying to increase its influence on countries in exchange for economic help. Bangladesh also keeps its options open. Another important thing is that China is believed to have a hand in what is happening on the Myanmar border. Overall, Bangladesh does not want to anger China.

Two parties are taking interest in one deal
he/she further says that the recent statement of the Bangladesh PM should be seen as a classic diplomatic move in which pressure is created that two parties are interested in a deal. he/she also says that it is important for India to know why China is showing so much interest in this project? However, regarding how important it is from a strategic point of view, Harsh Pant says that if the Teesta master plan is prepared on the developmental parameters that have been put forward, then it is a strategic challenge for India. Because the Chicken Neck Corridor is anyway a strategically sensitive issue for India. If China invests in this master plan, then many problems can arise for India in the future. Both China and Dhaka can become a matter of strategic concern for India.

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