First of all, Bangladesh never said, officially or unofficially, that it would join Quad.
Whether the Chinese ambassador's statement was based on pure assumption, or it was just a part of preventive actions to not let Bangladesh join it, it is not very clear at this point.
But, I would say the Chinese ambassador's comment was mostly hypothetical. At the same time, it could be a preventive measure.
In the past, Bangladesh has said over and over that it only wants to join in the Indo-pacific strategy where the area will be free and open for trade. There was no talk of Quad or any other military alliances.
Some might say the statement was an interference in Bangladesh's internal affairs. To me, it is not interference in a pure sense, but their opinion on the fact that the bilateral relationship might be affected. They just let their views be known.
There are two angles. On the one hand, our stated national position is that we do not join any military alliances. We have been following this since the birth of this nation. On the flipside, nobody has really asked Bangladesh to join Quad.
Obviously, Bangladesh determines its position based on national interest. And our national interest is clearly to support free and open trade.
Right now business has become Asia-centric. China, India, Asean as well as Bangladesh are growing at a rapid rate. So, Bangladesh has always tried to give importance to economic cooperation. And anything that hinders economic cooperation will not be supported.
I think it is in our best interest to work with everybody rather than to join any coalition. We should maintain a good relationship or keep equidistance for all other powers. Rather than joining anything, we can keep good friendships with all counterparts.
The author is former ambassador