China to help Bangladesh produce nuclear power

In The Acorn’s view, nuclear power presents an opportunity for countries to solve their energy problems; provided of course that adequate systemic, legal and international safeguards are put in place to address environmental, health, security and weapons proliferation concerns. So there should be nothing wrong Bangladesh seeking Chinese assistance to set up a nuclear power plant to answer its energy requirements? Not quite.

The most striking part about the China-Bangladesh nuclear deal is that it is more about politics than about economics. For Bangladesh, an alternative to the much-politicised international gas pipeline linking Myanmar and Bangladesh to India strengthens its negotiating hand. Furthermore, the deal allows Bangladesh to engage in that age-old trick of counterbalancing bigger powers, by playing the China card against India.

Once Bangladesh becomes less inclined to allow a gas-pipeline to pass through its territory, China would succeed in delaying or seriously damaging India’s attempts to secure overland access to Myanmar’s gas fields. As for the Myanmarese junta, they would hardly mind selling their gas to China instead. The South-East Asian mainland is already connected to Southern China through a road network — building a gas-pipeline alongside is a distinct possibility. Prevailing over the difficult terrain is an engineering challenge, while prevailing over the tribal militias and local regimes is a political one: China has proven to be more than equal to these challenges.

That India finds itself a peripheral observer to these developments is primarily because it finds its foreign policy haunted by the ghost of Gujral’s doctrine. King Gyanendra’s intransigence and Khaleda Zia’s overtures to China are but symptoms of a failed policy mindset as is the ‘unholy hype’ over Wen Jiabao’s visit. A seat in the UN Security Council does not ensure security, nor is it a substitute for a robust foreign security policy. Indeed, securing a Pax Indica through the greater use of deliberate irrationalism affords much greater benefits than being reluctant to anger China lest it refuse to support India’s ambitions at the United Nations.

3 thoughts on “China to help Bangladesh produce nuclear power”

  1. Bangladesh has had a nuclear programme since early 1950s. It has a highly skilled manpower which is committed to peaceful use of nuclear energy.

    India is a poor country which has no ability to engineer nuclear plant like China, USA, Russia, Israel, Germany, S Korea, Japan. India should shut its face what Bangladesh does.

    Bangladesh has no need for India. Bangladesh and India are looking for the same call centre jobs! China has a lot of resources which Bangladesh can benefit from. Another point India is only interested in instability and lies.

    Bangladesh is richer and more powerful than India any day. India should start to act like a normal nation and then we will see a good future for the region and Asia. India must stop its attack and fear of Islam and Muslims.

  2. I’m a American teenager living in New York City. From what I hear from the US as well as my knowledge of the region is that India has American nuclear plants built by American scientists as well as American engineers. The comments left by the other person says that Bangladesh is a richer and more powerful country then India, not true at all. India is the 11th largest economy in the world and will become the 3rd largest by 2030. With all due respect to Bangladesh, you guys are a young country with great potential, but please don’t trash another country because it has taken a center role in globalization.

  3. There is no point in competing with India. Nuclear power will help reduce electricity problems in Bangladesh and help the country grow.

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