Ali Riaz: US method of Bangladesh to be shaped within broad Asia-Pacific policy

07 Nov 2020 9:28 AM
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Militarization efforts may decelerate bringing relief in region, says Humayun Kabir

The United States' method of Bangladesh, if Joe Biden wins, will be shaped within the broad Asia-Pacific policy and it'll be good for countries like Bangladesh if economical cooperation gets priority in the region slowing down militarization efforts, say analysts.

"In a potential Biden administration, it’s expected that its Asia-Pacific policy will be recalibrated as will be its overall foreign policy orientation," Dr Ali Riaz told UNB, mentioning that the US' method of Bangladesh will be shaped within the broad Asia-Pacific policy.

Joe Biden says he has “without doubt” that after the vote count is complete, he'll defeat President Donald Trump to win the White House.

Former Ambassador of Bangladesh to the united states M Humayun Kabir said it appears Biden will give much emphasis on monetary aspects in the Asia Pacific region though there exists a growing militarization effort through Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS).

Warships and aircraft from the four “Quad” nations -- Japan, India, Australia and the united states -- kicked off the gross annual Malabar joint military exercise in the Bay of Bengal on November 3 with Australia rejoining the drills for the very first time in 13 years, according to The Japan Times.
Ambassador Kabir said militarization efforts may decelerate or can be removed when there is a scope of cooperation between China and the US with a obvious improvement in their relations keeping usual competition unhurt.

"It’ll be positive for all of us as a matter of relief," the foreign affairs analyst said.

Giving an answer to a question, Dr Riaz, a distinguished professor at Illinois State University, said as the US policy will continue to contain China and try to halt its growing influence in your community, it will not be belligerent just like the Trump administration. 

"I expect a relationship of contest and cooperation will be developed. As such, both defence and financial cooperation with the allies in your community will be strengthened," he said.

Whether it'll be done beneath the IPS or a fresh framework will be developed can be an open question, the analyst added.  

Giving an answer to another question, Prof Riaz said the Bangladesh-US relationship has flourished regardless of whoever is in power in Washington and Dhaka.

"The US-Bangladesh relationship has monetary and security dimensions, and they’ll continue," he said.

The analyst said cooperation on counterterrorism between your two countries has strengthened recently and it will continue for the benefit of both countries. 

However, he said, it really is expected that the Biden administration will concentrate on human rights and democracy issues globally which will probably have bearing on Bangladesh.


Former ambassador Kabir said they are living in an environment of inter-dependency plus they are no more within an era where one can say "I could do alone".

"We’re connected with each other for a number of reasons, including global value chain," he said. 

Kabir posed a question if the US can solve the issues alone that the world is facing today and said it is vital to see whether America becomes alone in the name of ‘America first’ policy.

On November 4, the United States formally left the Paris Agreement, a worldwide pact it helped forge five years back to avert the risk of catastrophic climate change.

The move, long threatened by US President Donald Trump and triggered by his administration this past year, "further isolates" Washington in the world but does not have any immediate effect on international efforts to curb global warming.

In July, the Trump administration formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO), although the pullout won't take effect until next year, meaning it may be rescinded under a fresh administration or if circumstances change. 

Former vice president Joe Biden said he'd reverse your choice on his first day in office, if elected.

Former diplomat Kabir said the united states played a leadership role in the UN, WHO, WTO, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and he believes that Biden will work to reengage with the world if he is elected. 

At least, the analyst said, Biden won't make an effort to create tension on the globe. "I believe it. And it’ll bring some relief on the globe."

Kabir said taking all on board, Biden will attempt to build an inclusive international society as there may be two aspects of protecting national interest -- taking inclusive approach or exclusive.

Biden's challenges 

However, CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza in a latest analysis said Biden's promise of returning what to normal may well not even be possible.

Biden will need to grapple with Trump stirring things up from the exterior. But even inside Washington, significant hurdles exist to Biden's hopes of making things normal.

Republicans are practically certain to carry the Senate majority in 2021, a amazing outcome given predictions from political prognosticators that Democrats were favoured to ride an anti-Trump wave in to the majority. 
"That means that all of Biden's presidency -- from his picks for Cabinet slots to his policy priorities -- will require Republicans on board if they are likely to come to pass. And it's really uniquely possible that (likely still) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) makes a strategic decision that cooperating with Biden on, well, anything, isn't good for his party's likelihood of regaining the White House in 2024," Cillizza wrote.

Biden laid out his foreign policy vision for America to revive dignified leadership in the home and respected leadership on the world stage. 

Arguing that their policies at home and abroad are deeply connected, Biden announced that he'll advance the security, prosperity, and values of america by firmly taking immediate steps to renew their own democracy and alliances, protect economical future, as soon as more place America at the top of the table, leading the world to handle the most urgent global challenges.

Biden is confident that he'll emerge victorious, but said, "This will never be my victory or our victory alone. It'll be a victory for the American people, for our democracy, for America."

Dhaka comfortable with both 

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has managed to get clear that Bangladesh does not have any problem whoever wins the united states election which witnessed an extremely tight contest.

"Whoever involves power, we’ve no problem," Dr Momen said, mentioning that the foreign policy does not depend on anybody.

The foreign minister said it really is too early to state who'll win the election. "That is technically a different kind of election. They’ve designed the machine pretty nicely, having dignity for every single State."

Dr Momen said Bangladesh's economy does very well and Bangladesh is geopolitically in an exceedingly good situation. "We maintain neutrality. We don't possess enmity with any country. We expect best for all."

The foreign minister said he thinks Bangladesh will continue to work very well with the US on the trade and investment front. "We’ve good relations.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh wants to see stability everywhere. "We want solid stability."

In this interconnected world, he said, it'll be good for Bangladesh if stability prevails everywhere.

The foreign minister said many countries, including the Trump Administration, remained busy with their respective countries because the Covid-19 pandemic. "It appears this trend will continue for many days."

The foreign minister recalled that President Donald Trump cancelled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In those days Trump fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The 12-nation trade deal was a linchpin of former president Barack Obama's Asia policy.

The foreign minister said whoever involves power following the US election, the US government works consistent with their people's and country's interest.

Bangladesh is hopeful of continuity of discussion with america on strengthening monetary ties as the election email address details are unlikely to have any effect on it.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said so far as Bangladesh-US relationship is concerned, the US' relationship does not depend on anybody or party.

Rather, Masud Momen said, such a relationship undergoes an institutional framework.

He said the government will continue to work on maintaining the stable relationship with the united states keeping financial ties unhurt and there will be efforts to restore the facilities that remain suspended.

Former ambassador Kabir said Bangladeshis in america could easily get benefit if the immigration policy is changed under a possible Biden administration. 

The analyst said Biden usually takes an initiative to regularize irregular migrants and introduce chain migrants extending benefits towards families of the migrants.

Days after Election Day in the United States, neither candidate had amassed the votes needed to win the White House.