United States again warned Bangladesh-India

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu has warned Dhaka and India that the security situation caused by the Rohingya crisis and ongoing unrest in Myanmar will worsen and continue to affect neighboring countries.

He thinks that the situation in Myanmar is not improving immediately. Because of this, the refugee crisis and security problems that are brewing for Bangladesh and ‘perhaps for India as well’, which may deepen further ahead.

Lu spoke at a top-level meeting with other administration officials from the State Department, National Security Council and Pentagon to mark the two-year anniversary of the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US President Joe Biden administration at the think tank US Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington.

Meanwhile, Donald Lu praised Sri Lanka as an example of a successful strategy in Indo-Pacific affairs with India and other partners.

On Washington’s thinking about India’s neighbours, he said, during a recent visit to the Maldives, he told officials that China could be a valuable partner for Beijing only if it faced ‘genuine competition’ with other countries.

Lu acknowledged India’s leadership in the Indian Ocean and the need to work in the region, citing ongoing discussions between India and the US on what can be done together in African littoral states.

Asked about differences in the Indo-Pacific region, he said he spent considerable time discussing how the situation in Myanmar could impact the South Asian region, citing the India-China border conflict and the ‘historic and deep conflict’ between India and Pakistan.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about Bangladesh, the Rohingya refugees there, and how the unrest in Burma could have implications for the region,” Lu also said.

He said, ‘The United States has worked significantly with Bangladesh to support the generosity Dhaka has shown to more than a million people. I had the opportunity to visit Cox’s Bazar, the largest refugee camp in the world, to witness this unique generosity. I have also witnessed the willingness of the international community to work together to bring these refugees home.’

He said that the situation in Burma is not improving. His concern is the looming refugee crisis and security problems for Bangladesh and ‘perhaps India too’, which could deepen further ahead.

“We need to be vigilant and support our partners in the region, particularly Bangladesh and India, so that they can address these challenges without escalating instability within their own countries,” said the US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia.
In response to questions about the US administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy against Beijing and how the US is managing this new world, Lu drew on the example of the Maldives.

He said, ‘This is a place where China, USA, India and other countries are competing to spread their influence. We will win by offering better. I think China will be a good partner only when there is fair and true competition.