According to diplomatic sources, an explanation had been sought about the comment made by Li Jiming on Monday when he had been exchanging views at a meeting with the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB).
The Chinese ambassador at the time had remarked that Dhaka’s relations with Beijing would be damaged if Bangladesh in any way joined the US-led Quad. On Wednesday, the Chinese ambassador told the foreign secretary that the comment had been made out of context. There was no question of relations deteriorating.
The ambassador also told the foreign secretary that he had been speaking very openly at the meeting held to exchange views. The remark had not been made with any particular motive.
Li Jiming was informed that his remark had taken Bangladesh by surprise. At a stage when the two countries had excellent relations, such remarks had created a sense of negativity. The matter was being discussed within the region and outside too. Sources said that the ambassador expressed regret for his comment.
Bangladesh officials feel that Beijing should make a speedy move to resolve the situation created by the Chinese ambassador’s recent remarks. Bangladesh had not expected such a situation to arise. If Bangladesh’s important partner China comes forward in this regard, the matter can be quickly resolved.