Exploring the geopolitics of Bangladesh’s national election
All eyes remain on Bangladesh’s forthcoming election, with the US, India, China, Japan, Russia and the EU closely monitoring the developments in a country that holds a critical position within South Asia. These nations have unique geopolitical and economic interests in Bangladesh.
Washington maintains a partnership with Dhaka, including support in the form of security cooperation, humanitarian relief and development assistance. It also seeks to maintain stability and democracy in the Asian country since it’s considered a significant partner in the region.
Highlighting the need for impartiality, the US has expressed its intention to enforce visa restrictions on people caught engaging in activities that interfere with the elections. It believes the establishment of an accountable government in Bangladesh is of utmost importance.
Meanwhile, India remains one of Bangladesh’s significant strategic partners in South Asia and treats the country as a vital ally within the framework of its “Neighbourhood First” and “Act East” policies, which are designed to improve regional integration.
Bangladesh Committed To Upholding Its Sovereignty
Aiming to bolster its trade and connectivity with Bangladesh, India has granted its neighbour privileged access to its market and bestowed duty-free privileges on its exports. New Delhi remains focused on energy, transportation, infrastructure and digital services.
China treats Bangladesh as a crucial element within its ‘String of Pearls’ strategy, which seeks to safeguard its access to energy resources and markets by establishing a network of ports and infrastructure around the periphery of the Indian Ocean, according to Modern Diplomacy.
While Japan’s stance on the forthcoming election in Bangladesh is almost the same as the US’s, Russia has also been closely monitoring the electoral process there. The latter remains a major collaborator with Bangladesh in several domains, including military and energy.
Dhaka maintains a neutral position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The elections have come against a backdrop of Bangladesh aiming to maintain a neutral stance in the geopolitical confrontation between major countries and prioritising its own national interests.