The Geopolitics of Bangladesh
South Asia is a region of great significance in world politics. Geopolitically, the region plays a vital role in the world economy.
Bangladesh is surrounded by India almost entirely on three sides except for a small but significant border with Myanmar.
For India, Bangladesh’s location is a strategic wedge between mainland India and India’s North Eastern states.
Each of the seven states of the Indian Union is land-locked and has a shorter route to the sea through Bangladesh.
The navigable rivers in India’s Northeast that could connect West Bengal or Orissa ports pass through Bangladesh.
The only entry to and exit from the North-eastern region of India is the Shiliguri Corridor that is close to the Chinese border.
Bangladesh provides easy land access to Southeast Asian countries that are important for India’s Look East Policy.
Bangladesh has also been constantly important in China’s foreign policy since military and economic ties began in 1976.
The growing connectivity and possible land connection enhances Bangladesh’s importance to China.
In it’s quest for natural resources, China is known to have interest in Bangladesh’s energy sector.
China enjoys access to the Bay of Bengal through Myanmar, which is very important in the context of Sino-US-India geopolitics.
The Relationship with China also enhances Bangladesh’s strategic relationship with Myanmar.
Myanmar is seen as an important linchpin in the strategic equation in north Bay of Bengal, hotly contested by China and India.
Washington : President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hug while making statements in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017. AP/PTI(AP6_27_2017_000042B)
In this context, the Indo-US relations are regarded as synergic moves by both to counter Chinese influence in South Asia.
The US attention is drawn towards Chinese incursion in the Indian Ocean that is critical in the event of East Asian conflicts.