THE Prime Minister of Barbados accused a BBC reporter of portraying her country as a “pawn” with a “disingenuous” question on the country’s relationship with China.

Mia Mottley was being interviewed by journalist Zeinab Badawi for an edition of Global Questions titled Lessons From Barbados.

It came in the wake of the country’s decision to leave its colonial past behind by removing Queen Elizabeth as its head of state.

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While the episode was aired earlier this month, it has gained fresh attention after videos began circulating on social media of Mottley’s responses.

In the interview, Badawi raised the subject of Barbados’s relationship with other countries, and said the Caribbean “is America’s backyard”.

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The Prime Minister stepped in, pointing out that the phrase “gives the wrong impression” and that “neighbourhood” would be more appropriate, with the journalist apologising for her wording.

Badawi then brought up a question sent in from someone in Barbados suggesting the country was “ingratiating” itself with China, before also pointing out that Mottley had been “very complimentary” about the country.

The line of questioning was to suggest the nation's relationship with one superpower – the US – was being traded for another – China.

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The PM calmly pointed out that she’d made similar remarks about the UK and United States.

Badawi continued: “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.”

Mottley was having none of it.

She replied: “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.

“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.”

The BBC presenter simply replied: “That’s put me in my place.”

Graciously, however, Mottley told her: “Not at all, my dear.”