The pandemic has brought to light the redundancy of the United Nations and its specialised agencies like the WHO, at a time when the human civilisation is on the brink. While the world is battling the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, China is aggressively trying to increase its influence in the United Nations. China has not only flouted the international norms but is now playing with the international norms to suit its nefarious agenda as it increasingly occupies key leadership positions at the United Nations.
It is ironic that the UN which stands for democracy is one of the most undemocratic institutions in the world. The power is rested among a select few permanent members who have the veto power to negate whatever doesn’t suit their political interests. As the virus continued to wreak havoc in March, the UNSC couldn’t even hold a discussion on the pandemic as the monthly chair was held by China who refused to entertain the discussion of the pandemic. Such archaic laws are exactly the reason why the UN is becoming redundant as even when the human civilisation is fighting to save its existence, the UN couldn’t even conduct a discussion.
An article written by Tung Cheng-Chia and Alan H. Yang for The Diplomat points out how China is aggressively trying to use the UN as a tool for achieving its hegemonic ambition which could end up destroying the global body for good. The UN has set up specialised agencies to meet specific needs like the WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF to name a few. Out of the 15 specialised agencies, four agencies are headed by Chinese nationals whose sole interest is to serve the needs of the Chinese Communist Party. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg as while the Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros might not be a Chinese national but has acted as the lackey of Xi Jinping. Dr Tedros’ dark past and his collusion with China only came to light amidst the pandemic and its remains to be seen how many such “neutral” organisations have been infiltrated by the Chinese Communist Party.
China is effectively buying leadership positions at the global body as its contribution to the UN has shot up to 12%, making the country second-largest monetary contributor to the UN. The way that China won the elections of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2019 is particularly interesting.
After trapping the Cameroonian government in its famed debt-trap diplomacy, China slashed $78 million in debt owed by Cameroon which was followed by the latter withdrawing its candidate for the FAO. Thus, Chinese candidate, Qu Dongyu, was elected as the director-general of the FAO.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals continue to act as a blueprint for a better and more sustainable tomorrow. However, China is now attempting to reshape the Sustainable Development Goals to suit Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) reveals that, China has been promoting its BRI under the guise of SDGs.
Chinese career diplomats have completely infiltrated the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as since 2007, the position of the under-secretary-general of DESA has been occupied by China. Liu Zhenmin, the current head of the DESA not so long ago claimed that the Belt and Road Initiative serves the objectives of the SDGs at a high-level symposium. The organisation has publicly endorsed China’s pet project, “Jointly Building Belt and Road towards SDGs,” thereby consenting to the BRI’s effect on achieving the Goals.
So much is China’s influence over the UN that its Secretary General, António Guterres while addressing a Belt and Road forum in 2017 claimed that the UN is ready to stand with China to achieve the SDGs. For the uninitiated, the BRI is not a development project but just another tool to aid China’s geopolitical ambition by building strategic junctions around the globe that exclusively cater to China’s interests.
China has made an absolute mockery of the UN Human Rights Council. China has been rewarded with a position in the UNHRC that will pick human-rights investigators. Jiang Duan who is a minister at the Chinese Mission in Geneva has been appointed to the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Consultative Group — where he will act as the representative of the Asia-Pacific states.
U.N. Watch which is a Geneva based human rights watchdog has reacted furiously to this development and termed it “absurd and immoral” for the decision to allow the Chinese Communist Party to play a key role in selecting human rights officials. “Allowing China’s oppressive and inhumane regime to choose the world investigators on freedom of speech, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief,” said its Executive Director Hillel Neuer.
This development means that the Chinese Communist Party is all set to pick at least 17 human rights investigators, including those looking at freedom of speech, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention — which is a regular occurrence in Xi Jinping’s China. At the peak of the virus’ outbreak in China, various journalists and doctors have mysteriously disappeared as they dared to expose the shortcomings of the Chinese Communist Party.
The CCP is committing unspeakable atrocities against the Uyghur Muslims as apart from ‘de-radicalisation’ and ‘re-education’, the CCP is harvesting the organs of the arrested Uyghurs. In fact, a report says that in China, over 60,000 to 100,000 transplants have been taking place annually, to the point that surgeons have ‘lost count’.
Since 2018, Uyghur families in Xinjiang have to mandatorily invite government officials into their homes, provide them information about their lives and political views, and comply with political indoctrination. The Chinese administration is trying to ethnically cleanse Xinjiang by practising the “Pair Up and Become Family” programme which involves the country’s Han ethnic majority officers – to stay in Uyghur households every two months as a part of the programme.
The Chinese government describes the spies as ‘relatives’ of the monitored families and have to work, eat, and often share a bed with their ‘hosts’ as the Uyghurs are compulsorily made to stay with their ‘paired relatives’ day and night. A Communist Party officer was quoted, “Normally one or two people sleep in one bed, and if the weather is cold, three people sleep together.” The officer described the spies as “helping” the Uyghur families “with their ideology, bringing new ideas” and “talk to them about life, during which time they develop feelings for one another”.
Now such unspeakable atrocities will be taken up at any impartial organisation. However, the UN continues to turn a blind eye to there plight of the Uyghurs. The DESA pressurised Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress from attending the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
In March after successfully exporting the virus to the world, China was back to its nefarious ways with it trying to usurp the position of the director-general election of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). China would have been successful in its efforts if not for the USA’s alertness. The US diplomats lobbied with more than 80 governments who were voting for the coveted post as the US argued that China will use the WIPO to steal technology. This paved way for the victory of Daren Tang, the Singaporean candidate who received the backing of the USA.
In June last year, the USA backed candidate lost the elections of the FAO to China which has prompted the US State Department to create a new role focused on countering China’s influence. In January, Mark Lambert, who had been the special envoy for North Korea, was tasked with the role of containing China’s influence.
Now, it is a well known fact that the WHO acted as China’s puppet and unleashed the pandemic on the world. China when it discovered the outbreak, reacted according to its characteristics, downplaying, underreporting and disappearing whoever tried to expose the truth. The same thing happened during the SARS outbreak but it was prevented from becoming a pandemic thanks to the alertness of the WHO as it pulled up China for its lack of transparency.
If only the WHO had listened to Taiwan and shared its best practices with its member states, the world would have been a much better place. But doing that would have angered their masters in China and hence, the world was collectively blinded by China and the WHO.
In 1971, as China was voted into the United Nations, it was felt that a nation with over a billion people must be included in the global body and would eventually ply with the international norms. Fast forward to 2020 and a pandemic later, it has become clear that China has not followed the international norms. At this rate, China will end up eradicating the human civilisation if the UN doesn’t wake up to the danger posed by China.