Diplomatic relations between Barbados and the People's Republic of China were established on 30 May 1977. China began providing Barbados with diplomatic aide with the construction of the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium (1986), and other projects such as: construction assistance for the Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference and Cultural Centre (1994), and renovating Bridgetown's Cheapside Market building (2005). In 2005, China exported US$ 19.19 million worth of goods, while importing only $211,000 from Barbados.
The current Chinese Ambassador to Barbados is Xu Hong, who heads the embassy in Christ Church, Barbados. Hong replaced the former Ambassador Wei Qiang in 2012. The current Barbadian Ambassador to Beijing, China is the country's former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford.
In 2004 Barbados obtained Approved Destination Status by the government in China. Barbados and China are members of the United Nations, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Group of 77.
Following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the Barbadian prime minister visited the Chinese Embassy to personally sign the book of condolence to the nation.
Over the years a number of building projects have been carried out with Chinese government assistance these include: The Wildey Gymnasium, two adjustments on the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference And Cultural Centre, a Home Vegetable Growing Experimental Center, embroidery, grass weaving and feather handicraft. A consideration was also giving according to the Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson for China to assist with the opening of a new cruise ship facility in Barbados.
Chinese Premier Wen said that China would like to join hands with Barbados in deepening cooperation in the areas of trade, tourism, architecture, and cultural exchange.
In 2014 both governments signed a visa waiver agreement for nationals from both nations., ,  Later in 2014 there was also an agreement signed in Barbados to establish a branch of the Confucius Institute at the University of the West Indies., , , , 
China's export volume to Barbados in 1999 reached US$2,035,000, while imports from Barbados were at US$13,000.
Both nations have additionally signed bilateral agreements including a Double taxation agreement and a Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments treaty.
The Chinese government remains one of the main stakeholders in the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which lends to the various territories throughout the Caribbean region.
In 2004 Chinese interests expanded into Barbados' construction industry. Two notable firms include China Construction Barbados Co. Ltd. and ChinaDOS Construction Limited. (A mixture of the name China and Barbados), Which has performed a number of construction projects in Barbados.
In August 2008 the Barbados-based Caribbean Export and Chinese officials signed a deal to increase the export capacity in the region to the Chinese market.
In October 2006 the Barbadian government found itself sanctioned by U.S. President George W. Bush for not signing an Article 98 Agreements with the United States military to exempt U.S. personnel from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Following the sanctions on Barbados and several other Caribbean nations by the United States the Chinese Government provided Barbados with the financial assistance in-lieu of the situation.
In 2009 the military units of both countries have agreed to strengthen their military cooperation.China has an Embassy in Rockley, Christ Church, Barbados, which is headed by the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Barbados, Mr. Qiang Wei.
Barbados appointed its former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford as its first resident Ambassador to China. In July 2011 Barbados opened its Embassy in Chaoyang District, Beijing.