Foreign Policy: As US Retreats From World Organizations, China Steps in to Fill the Void

China has strategically pursued leadership roles in global organizations. Colum Lynch and Elias Groll describe the efforts behind a Chinese representative to head the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. “The push reflects Beijing’s desire to project a more visible ‘soft power’ profile around the world and fill a political void left by an American administration that has grown skeptical of multilateralism,” they write for Foreign Policy. “In recent years, Chinese candidates have taken on senior posts at the World Bank, Interpol, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, and the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization. China also provides more troops to U.N. peacekeeping missions than any of the four other big powers on the U.N. Security Council.” Human rights advocates express concern that global organizations under Chinese control will target critics and dismiss human rights as a priority. The United States has applied political pressure, too, withdrawing funds and losing voting rights after UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member in 2011. Chinese leaders have offered a plan for regulating the internet with a UN role via UNESCO. World leaders upset about recruitment efforts by the Islamic State and Russian hackers targeting elections may go along. – YaleGlobal

Foreign Policy: As US Retreats From World Organizations, China Steps in to Fill the Void

Beijing repurposes international agencies abandoned by the US, like UNESCO, for its strategic interests — and that may include controlling the internet
Colum Lynch and Elias Groll
Monday, October 9, 2017

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Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy’s award-winning UN-based senior diplomatic reporter. Foreign Policy staff writers Emily Tamkin and Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian contributed to this report.

Copyright Foreign Policy 2017

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