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Barbados’ new President Sandra Mason during the presidential inauguration ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, Nov. 30, 2021. Barbados’ new President Sandra Mason awards Prince Charles with the Order of Freedom of Barbados during the presidential inauguration ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, Nov. 30, 2021 (AP photo by David McD Crichlow).

Barbados’ Decision to Become a Republic Had Nothing to Do With China

Friday, Feb. 18, 2022

To the casual observer, Barbados appears to be the latest country to fall prey to increasing Chinese influence. Two years after signing up for China’s Belt and Road Initiative in 2019, the Commonwealth nation declared itself a republic, replacing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. Connecting these dots, the prestigious Sunday Times of London ran an article titled, “How Barbados went from Little England to Little China.”

The piece noted that Barbados was flush with cash from China and implied that dropping the queen as head of state was the condition Beijing had set for further financing. A pharmaceutical salesman in Bridgetown, the capital, was quoted as saying he feared the country would soon “fall into a debt trap.” In reality, Barbados’ problems with debt have nothing to do with China, nor does its decision to become a republic. ...

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