lørdag 29. januar 2022

Barbados’ New Republic: A Win for China?

On November 30, 2021, the island of Barbados parted ways with the British monarchy, thus ending their 400-year relationship. A few months later, on January 19, 2022, the incumbent government won in landslide elections. How were these events connected? And what role, if any, did China play?

The Barbadian government first revealedthe clearly very popular plans to remove Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and make Barbados a republic in September 2020. In her speech, the then-Governor-General Sandra Mason – now Barbados’ first-ever president – focused solely on the relationship with the U.K., stating that it was time for Barbados to “leave our colonial past behind.” Mason framed the move as “the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.” While this auspicious occasion was heralded by many as a “seminal moment,” others wondered if it was more about another country – China.