Boris Johnson has ordered diplomats to launch a new drive against Chinese ‘expansionism’ after Beijing was accused of placing pressure on Barbados to remove the Queen as its head of state.
The island is one of dozens of countries which form part of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, under which Beijing lends money to poorer countries to help them to fund critical infrastructure projects such as ports and high speed rail lines.
With China able to seize control of the finished project if the countries default – and frequently demanding preferential terms in trade deals as a condition of the loans – it has led to what one No 10 source described as a ‘Chinese chokehold’ over much of the developing world.
Mr Johnson, who fears that the economic damage caused by Covid-19 will make countries even more vulnerable to domination, is to demand that China is more ‘transparent’ about its financial dealings with other countries.
Boris Johnson has ordered diplomats to launch a new drive against Chinese ‘expansionism’ after Beijing was accused of placing pressure on Barbados to remove the Queen as its head of state. Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping with Queen Elizabeth II at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace, London, during his state visit to the UK in 2015.
Barbados, which gained independence in 1966, announced last week that it would become a republic in 2021: Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason said that ‘the has come to fully leave our colonial past behind…Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State’.