Friendly nations can certainly comment on the affairs of another country, however, it is better to make such observations quietly. I think discussions such as these, in public forums, do not necessarily look good. It could be considered a negative reflection on our judgment.
I think, as a dignified nation, we should be allowed to decide on our things. I believe that we are mature and competent enough to understand our needs, priorities and obligations about who or what kind of support we need.
We have our own financial accounting system and we make decisions on loans and other financial assistance on the basis of our own analysis and calculations. Based on that, we assess from whom we will take the support.
Till now, we have not seen any hint of a debt trap from the point of view of financial management.
Such comments on other nations are best done discreetly. You do not say many things directly and there are ways to describe these things. There is a certain kind of language you use in these circumstances. We should all be respectful in advising someone, especially on a public forum.
Furthermore, the comparison between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is inappropriate. Jaishankar may have spoken from the point of view that both countries are developing infrastructure. However, I think it is not a good thing to compare one country to another because every country is independent and every country takes its decision independently.
Let us not mix up one issue with the other. If we look at Sri Lanka economically, our foreign reserve is much higher than that of Sri Lanka.
However, I don't think there is diplomatic tension between Bangladesh and India with regard to China. India has a particular focus on China. Our view is different and we have a large engagement with China.
Ironically, India also has a large engagement with China. India has 10 times larger trade engagement with China. Although India says these things as political rhetoric, their trade relations are extensive. There is a certain kind of duality in this. We just have a different way of looking at China.
We maintain a relationship with China on the basis of our priorities. On the other hand, India maintains its relationships based on their own priorities. We have different ways of looking at China.
M Humayun Kabir is a Bangladeshi diplomat and former ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States.
Disclaimer: This analysis has been written based on a telephonic conversation between the author and The Business Standard.