US Keeps Eye on China’s Influence at UN | Voice of America
NEW YORK – The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday reassured Congress that she was working to monitor and curb what she called China’s “nefarious influence” in the United Nations. global organization.
“China has been aggressive and coercive in using its power at the United Nations,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.
She said Beijing promotes an “authoritarian approach to multilateralism.”
The ambassador highlighted a range of actions, including his influence on three UN technical organizations where their nationals are in charge, and Beijing’s use of COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy to put pressure on certain countries. poorer.
“We will push hard against these efforts,” she said.
She urged lawmakers to invest in the United Nations to restore American influence there, which declined under the Trump administration.
“Our adversaries and competitors are investing in the United Nations. We cannot expect to be competitive if we don’t do it too,” said Thomas-Greenfield.
More than 40 lawmakers questioned the veteran diplomat for more than four hours during a hearing on the Biden administration’s priorities for engagement with the United Nations. Many have expressed concern over China’s persecution of minority Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang Autonomous Province.
Human rights groups accuse China of sending more than a million Uyghurs to detention camps. China claims the complexes are “vocational education centers” intended to stop the spread of religious extremism and terrorist attacks.
U.S. Representative Michael McCaul asked Thomas-Greenfield if she agreed with the committee that the Chinese government was committing genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs.
“Yes, genocide is being committed against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang,” she said. “And the PRC government is committing crimes against humanity. We called on the Chinese about it.”
Lawmakers have also expressed concern over China’s influence over the World Health Organization, with some accusing Beijing’s influence of defeating the WHO in its duty to warn the world of gravity. of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thomas-Greenfield has made it clear that the Biden administration supports a “solid and transparent” investigation into the origins of the pandemic. As for the WHO, she noted that it had appointed an independent committee headed by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to review the WHO response.
“I am confident in their ability to get to the bottom of it, and I know they are working hard,” she said. “Their reputations are attached to it, and we can’t wait to see the results.”
US Representative Mark Green asked if Taiwan should participate in the United Nations. China has used its influence over the years to prevent its recognition.
“We support Taiwan,” she said. “We want Taiwan to be recognized for the extraordinary democracy that it is.”
Thomas-Greenfield said the United States continues to press the United Nations for Taiwan’s participation in programs that do not require member state status, such as the recent World Health Assembly. However, this effort failed.
Thomas-Greenfield took up his duties as Ambassador to the UN and member of President Joe Biden’s cabinet in February. This assignment is the culmination of an extensive 35-year career with the State Department.