Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said that his country won't succumb to China as its loan from Beijing is less than 1 per cent of GDP.
"We don't have too much influence of China in Bangladesh," he said while speaking to India Today when asked about Beijing's growing influence in the region, be it in the Maldives or Bangladesh.
He added, China is a development partner. They have been helping us in some of our projects, either as a contractor or as an expert. But if you look at how much money we have got from China, it is less than 1 per cent of GDP. So, it is nothing.
When asked about the tensions between India and the Maldives after three Maldivian ministers made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh's foreign minister said, "In our own value judgement in our society, we normally respect others, and we expect leaders before making any, you know, fictitious or attractive comment. So we think we should honour the dignity and the office."
Abdul Momen said that there was propaganda that Bangladesh was also becoming indebted to China. He said a country could be in debt of another country if its foreign borrowing was more than 55 per cent. "Our total borrowing is only 13.6 per cent. The fear in India is not genuine. China is a friend and a development partner. We are very prudent in receiving any aid or funds. So people should not be afraid that Bangladesh would succumb to the Chinese," he said.