Chinese power politics – Beijing’s influence in the UN is growing – News


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China is deliberately expanding its power in the UN. The human rights organization ISHR laments the passivity of many countries.

China’s rise to economic power is not a new phenomenon. But China’s rise to a central and power-conscious actor on the world political stage is very likely. The human rights organization International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) has now examined exactly how China is proceeding.

China is now extremely active in the entire UN apparatus and occupies more top positions than the three veto powers USA, France and Great Britain put together, says program director Sarah Brooks: “China’s UN commitment is more targeted and more determined than that of many other countries.”

China’s UN engagement is more focused and determined than that of many other countries.

Even if China does not portray its own candidacy, it is exerting influence. For example, the election of the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ethiopian Tedros Ghebreyesus, was significantly supported by Beijing.

Your own goals have priority

Actually, UN officials should have the interests of all 193 member countries in mind and should not represent their country of origin. So, symbolically, they would have to hand in their passport when taking office.

Not all officials behave like that. Chinese even see themselves explicitly obliged to represent the interests of their homeland. The long-time Vice-UN Secretary-General Wu Hongbo – no longer in office – frankly admitted this on Chinese state television.

Like many high-ranking Chinese, Wu argues that his country is still a developing country, is being wrongly attacked by the West and is in the victim role: “China is being discriminated against.”

Support against critical voices is growing

There can be no question of this in the UN. China now has many allies and can usually avoid being criticized by UN bodies and exponents, according to Brooks, for example in the UN Human Rights Council.

The influence in Asia, Africa, Latin America and sometimes even in Europe enables China to put pressure on states, to vote in Beijing’s sense and to get Chinese candidates and very rarely candidates for top positions through.

China is also very aware that the importance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is growing in the UN system. It therefore systematically and successfully prevents independent and China-critical NGOs from receiving accreditation from the UN at all. You are so marginalized.

“New Silk Road” made socially acceptable

China is influencing this like no other country. It also finances or even launches UN efforts that serve its goals. And it lobbies so successfully that even the UN leadership is now identifying with the project of a “new silk road”.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres spoke of common sustainable development goals, although it serves less the interests of the world community than the expansion of Beijing’s power.

However, distrust is gradually growing, explains Brooks. Sometimes China is too brash, too clumsily on intimidation. This triggers resistance and even brings about alliances against China on individual issues.

According to Sarah Brooks, however, it would be more important for states that represent a different worldview to commit themselves much more strongly to the UN, to submit top candidacies for top positions themselves and to support each other. Instead, the fact that the US under President Donald Trump went diving at the UN for four years has opened the door to Beijing.

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