Instead of flexing its muscles with its neighbours, China should take a leaf out of India’s relations with Bangladesh

Beijing should learn a thing or two from India, with a good example being 2009, the year Bangladesh referred its dispute with India over the Bay of Bengal water to The Hague tribunal and won the case. Bangladesh was awarded 19,467 sq km of the 25,602 sq km sea area in the verdict that was delivered in 2014.

In 2016, a ruling by The Hague-based international arbitral tribunal went in favour of the Philippines, disputing China’s claims in the South China Sea. Despite this, the ruling was rejected by Beijing.

Unlike China rejecting The Hague’s verdict, India honoured the tribunal’s order.

“We believe that the settlement of the maritime boundary will further enhance mutual understanding and goodwill between India and Bangladesh by bringing to closure a long pending issue. This paves the way for the economic development of this part of the Bay of Bengal, which will be beneficial to both countries.” Mahmud Ali, the then Bangladeshi foreign minister, had described the verdict as ‘a victory of friendship between Bangladesh and India’.

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