Tory MP Damian Green warned that China is on its way to becoming ‘a new colonial power’ by investing money into countries such as Barbados. The island, which is in the Lesser Antilles and former British colony which has been independent since 1966, officially became a republic after the removal of Queen Elizabeth as its head of state on Monday. Although Barbados remains a member of the Commonwealth, the decision to become a republic has been largely influenced by China, with the influential Eastern Asian country expected to have the most potent military in the world by 2050.
Tory MP told Iain Dale on LBC that China could use its financial influence to turn into a powerful, new colonial power.
He said: “There is a lot of affection, particularly for the Queen around the Commonwealth, not just in this country.
“And for all the royal turbulence, that we’ve seen over the past 18 months or so, I detect no surge of republican sentiment in this country.
“But I worry even more and I think you’re right to bring up the Chinese money.
“Because there is in a sense a much more serious global play going on here which is the Chinese attempting, using money influence and pulling countries into debts to effectively become a new colonial power around the world.
“And I think if that’s allowed to take hold, that will be a real threat to democracies of many of the Commonwealth countries.”
But Barbados is not the sole member of the Commonwealth that China are looking to develop military and diplomatic links with.
Several Commonwealth countries receive regular Chinese military training. These include Guyana, Cameroon and Rwanda.
Mr Green spoke of the Commonwealth’s importance: “You have to be a democracy to qualify for the Commonwealth and there are countries that go in and out of the Commonwealth on the basis of what kind of Government they have.
“It’s good for the countries themselves to remain democracies. We should cling onto the Commonwealth and try and make it as useful as possible for as many Member States as possible.
“We often have an odd view of the Commonwealth in this country because it does get bound up. But actually, as a modern collection, a contemporary collection of democracy, that’s a hugely important body to have in and around the globe.”
Barbados’ decision to become a republic has been met with criticism among some Barbadians themselves. They are concerned that the new independence from the Crown is a double-edged sword as China look to expand its influence in the Caribbean in future.
China has reportedly pumped more than £400million into the country’s economy to gentrify the island.
New homes, hotels and infrastructures were all built.
Some of the most historic colonial empires include Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and France.
Daily Express, UK.