The body of the British Parliament warns of China’s “bullying” in the multilateral arena


There is evidence that China is increasingly using “aggressive” means to “force” states to support their position or candidates in order to achieve steady take-up of key official positions in several multilateral organizations, a report by an influential British parliamentary warned Committee on Thursday.

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) said its evidence spoke of an increasingly “bullying” attitude by China in its dealings with organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO).

In its report, “In Space: The UK’s Role in Multilateral Diplomacy”, the Committee urges the UK to take a more proactive role in combating the influence of countries attempting to manipulate and undermine multilateral organizations to mobilize soft foreign power, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to strengthen democracies.

“The report found evidence that China is increasingly using aggressive means, including exploiting bilateral economic levers to force states to support their position or their candidates, and then using the organizations to shift politics away from cooperation,” the organizations were founded to promote ”, the FAC notes.

“The use of aggressive diplomacy by China or ‘bullying’ can be observed at the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) as well as the World Ministry of Health Organization (WHO): The report found that threats from multilateral organizations can take on more subtle forms.

For example, the constant assumption of important official positions in several multilateral organizations by the Chinese government, ”it said.

“The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) should take a leading role in maintaining strong and effective engagement with multilaterals. The withdrawal only creates a vacuum that allows authoritarian states more leverage and control engagement and the potential for joint action with the US, “she adds.

The central warning of the bipartisan inquiry is that autocratic states are trying to take control of strategically important organizations, turn them into weapons and fundamentally redefine generally accepted principles on which they are based, and that “Democrats are doing too little to” defend their interests. ”

“There is a very real danger that democratic states will lose multilateral organizations to authoritarian states. The influence of state actors with alternative understandings of individual rights, a fundamental principle of the modern international system, is increasing,” she warns. Conservative Party MP and FAC chairman Tom Tugendhat said it was clear that dictatorships are taking over the institutions built from the rubble of World War II to defend democracy.

“We have to work with partners in the US, Europe and around the world if we want our voice to be heard,” said Tugendhat.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 made this a lot easier. The WHO, which benefits from so much British aid, is dominated by China, which contributes far less. As a power whose strength comes from global connections, trust in our laws. “And institutions and the skills of our ambassadors, we know that size is not all that matters,” he said.

The FAC report highlights instances of funding threats to capture, and funding used as an unacceptable leverage. He warns that voluntary, dedicated funding is a major weakness, as the agendas of multilateral organizations can be significantly influenced by their donors, including those that provide comparatively little support.

The report focuses in particular on six multilateral organizations – the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC); WHO; the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL); the World Trade Organization (WTO); and the International Criminal Court (ICC). AK PMS PMS


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