China is expanding influence in the UN system: Indian think tank

A leading Indina think tank has claimed that China has been steadily increasing its influence within the United Nations using a combination of increased funding, strategically placing its key officials and selecting the most influential agencies and bodies to lead

May 31, 2021
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A leading Indina think tank has claimed that China has been steadily increasing its influence within the United Nations using a combination of increased funding, strategically placing its key officials and selecting the most influential agencies and bodies to lead. In its study, Mumbai-based Gateway House has traced China’s expanding influence in the United Nations, its related bodies, and influential non-UN multilateral bodies.

The findings revealed that China is in a dominant position in several critical multilateral bodies, in both personnel and funding.

The most prominent are the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The links are obvious. ITU sets global telecommunications standards – where China’s Huawei is a major player.

UNIDO was formed to encourage industrialisation in the developing world but its importance has waned as countries found it unhelpful, leaving China in charge. China immediately connected UNIDO to its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which UNIDO now endorses.

China’s positioning at ICAO, which sets air navigation and safety standards, ensured that during the pandemic, Taiwan was excluded from all discussions – just as it was with the World Health Organization (WHO), over which China has a disproportionate influence.

While the world was preoccupied with opening the Chinese internal market, China spent years preparing to dominate and leave its mark on the external global system, the think-tank was quoted by IBNS as saying. (SAM)

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