China is of growing importance to the United Nations. Like other states, Beijing aims to exert influence at the world body to legitimize and disseminate its foreign policy values and interests. This talk contextualizes China’s growing presence at the United Nations by examining publicly available data on four metrics that gauge Beijing’s success in shaping the body. Those metrics are: funding for UN departments, programs, and initiatives; staffing of executive-level personnel positions; voting in the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council; and the use of PRC-specific discourse and language in UN-generated documentation.
The United Nations has become progressively more reliant on China’s general contributions, and in turn China has used a combination of levers to elevate its position within the UN system. However, China is still selective in its overall approach to UN participation and that efforts by the PRC do not necessarily translate into successful influence of the United Nations.
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