Barbados PM gives epic reply to reporter who suggested her country could become a ‘pawn’ of China

Francis Akhalbey August 24, 2021
Barbados PM Mia Mottley -- Photo Credit: Timothy Sullivan (UNCTAD)

A video snippet of Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley challenging a BBC reporter’s question that suggested the Caribbean nation could become a “pawn” of China has been trending on social media, with a host of people commending her for her response.

Mottley sat down with Zeinab Badawi for a recent episode of BBC’s Global Questions program. And though that edition – titled Lessons From Barbados – was shown at the beginning of the month, a snippet of the conversation in question recently went viral on social media.

During the interview, Badawi brought up Barbados’ relationship with other nations, saying the Caribbean region “is America’s backyard.” But Mottley told the reporter her choice of words “gives the wrong impression”, and saying “neighborhood” would have been suitable, The National reported. Badawi then apologized for her choice of words.

The reporter also highlighted a question sent by a Barbadian that presumed the Caribbean nation had been trying to be on China’s good side. She also said the Prime Minister had been “very complimentary” about the Asian country. But Mottley pointed she had also passed such comments about the United Kingdom and the United States.

“But it’s not just Barbados that’s moving closer to China, it’s the whole of the Caribbean – I mean, investment from China has gone up many folds in the last few years,” Badawi said.

Mottley, however, begged to differ, saying, “It’s the whole world.”

“If I look correctly, I think the Chinese hold a large, large percentage of assets within the United States of America and a large amount of their treasuries as well,” the prime minister added.

“So for you to focus on the Caribbean or Africa with China, without recognising the role that China is playing in Europe or the north Atlantic countries, is a bit disingenuous and really reflects more that we’re seen as pawns, regrettably, rather than countries with equal capacity to determine our destiny and to be part of that global conversation to fight the global issues of the day such as climate and the pandemic.”

Badawi responded to Mottley’s comments on a lighter note, saying, “That’s put me in my place.”

“Not at all, my dear,” the prime minister told her.

Take a look at some of the reactions to the video below:

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 25, 2021


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