China is trying to increase its influence in the United Nations, looking to change the rules of international cooperation to their liking. And President Trump, though he has quite often spoken against the organization in recent times, has to ensure that he keeps the Chinese from having too much say in the workings and decision-making of the UN.
Trump and the UN
One of the main issues that Trump has with the UN is that America pays for almost 22 percent of the organization’s annual budget. That is a lot of money invested by the U.S. President Trump thinks that it is unfair that the U.S. contributes the majority of the UN budget and asked the member states to step up and contribute more to the UN budget so that no country bears the burden of paying more than what it should.
He wanted the member states to change the organization’s traditional “business-as-usual” working style. “I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms, the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just, and greater force for peace and harmony in the world,” BBC quotes him.
Trump is also against several UN policies, mostly because he feels that they are against the economic and military interests of the U.S. For instance, he was vehemently against the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change as America would have lost trillions of dollars and jobs by agreeing to it. In addition, domestic oil, gas, and manufacturing industries would also have been negatively affected.
As a consequence, he had pulled the U.S. out from the agreement, much to the shock of other countries who had bet on America to shoulder the majority of the burden once again. America has also exited from the Human Rights Council, quit from the organization’s talks on managing human migration, and said ‘No’ to the Security Council’s Iran deal.
Though all these actions were done keeping American interests in mind, Trump has to understand that he simply cannot cut down U.S. involvement in the United Nations. Why? Because of the simple fact that Beijing is trying to gain as much influence as possible in the international body in a bid to affect its decisions. That is something Trump must never allow to happen.
China fitting itself in
The Chinese intention to align UN decision making with its own interests and ideologies was clear from a 2015 agreement on how the Internet must be governed in the future. Negotiators from Beijing were very successful in making the UN mildly accept state supremacy over the Internet.
“We think those principles [of the document] apply to Internet communication technologies. We found that the outcome document is in China’s interest,” The New York Times quotes a Chinese negotiator.
This alone shows the kind of threat that China poses if it garners too much influence in the UN. The very fact that it was able to sway the organization into including statements in the document that potentially sanction China’s Internet censorship policies and allow them to continue is a dangerous indication.
As Beijing starts to contribute more to the UN budget and gains greater control in the decision making, the country will make the organization accept several policies that will legitimize the supremacy of the state over its people, threatening the very idea of democracy. And if anyone has the might to counter such negative influences in the United Nations, it is the U.S.