CHINA has denied putting pressure on Barbados to ditch Queen Elizabeth as head of state.
The spokesman for the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Barbados, Gao Jin, has taken issue over allegations that Beijing has been using infrastructural investment and debt diplomacy as a means of control.
In an interview with Barbados Today the Chinese official described the accusations as “totally groundless”.
“It is the internal affairs of Barbados to become a republic,” Gao told the Barbados publication.
He declared that China remains firm in its commitment to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equal and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
The allegations of Chinese pressure on Barbados to remove the Queen as that country’s official Head of State were made by the chairman of the UK foreign affairs committee, Tom Tugendhat.
He was quoted as telling the Times that China has been using infrastructure investment and debt diplomacy as a means of control for a while.
“It’s coming closer to home for us,” Tugendhat told the UK publication.
“Today we’re seeing it in the Caribbean. Some islands seem to be close to swapping a symbolic Queen in Windsor for a real and demanding emperor in Beijing,” he told the Times.
According to international news reports, China’s Communist Party Government has pumped at least $7billion in six Caribbean nations since 2005, in an apparent attempt to lure them away from the influence of the West.
Barbados recently declared that it would dispense with Her Majesty as official head of state as part of celebrations to mark its 55th independence anniversary in next November.