China’s growing engagement with Bangladesh has necessitated a reflection on how India views Beijing’s growing influence in a region India considers within its sphere of influence. With the advent of the Belt and Road initiative, China has steadily emerged as an important player in South Asia and Beijing’s significant improvement of ties with Bangladesh must be viewed in this context. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have both reiterated the significance of Sino-Bangladesh strategic partnership. While Beijing looks at this as an opportunity to expand its strategic influence beyond its traditional ambit to the Indian Ocean Region, Bangladesh has increasingly warmed up to China as a means to address Bangladesh’s infrastructure and connectivity deficit. Where does that leave India? A bolstering China-Bangladesh relationship has important implications for New Delhi, which considers Bangladesh a close partner in its neighbourhood. This paper explores India’s views on growing Chinese engagement in Bangladesh.
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