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Breitbart: Experts to Congress: China Is Hijacking Key U.N. Agencies to Advance Communist Agenda

  |   By Polling+ Staff

(Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP) (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

Experts to Congress: China Is Hijacking Key U.N. Agencies to Advance Communist Agenda

And again with the China problem.  The story reports:

“Experts, including two former diplomats representing America at the United Nations, warned Congress in a hearing on Wednesday that China is amassing power within the U.N. structure to “blunt criticism, shut out and stigmatize Taiwan, plug its Belt and Road Initiative, and dilute norms that might be used to hold it accountable.”

The experts cited examples such as the Chinese Communist Party actively pursuing leadership roles for members of the regime at the head of influence U.N. agencies, investing directly in obscure U.N. projects and hijacking them to work in Beijing’s interest, and using its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to coerce poor countries into defending it against human rights criticism at the United Nations. 

Among the most prominent examples of the latter was China’s “Universal Periodic Review” at the Human Rights Council this year. The Human Rights Council, currently staffed by majority dictatorships, reviews the records of various governments on a schedule on the matter of human rights; China was one of 14 to face scrutiny in 2024. 

While the Chinese Communist Party is one of the bloodiest and most prolific human rights criminals in the world, most notably engaging in an ongoing genocide against Turkic ethnic groups in occupied East Turkistan, it received lavish praise at the Human Rights Council for “commitment to the promotion of humanity’s common values,” “improving the criminal litigation system,” and “impressive progress in the field of social economic development.” Among the countries applauding the communists were fellow rogue states such as Russia and Iran, but nominal U.S. allies including Ukraine, a BRI member, as well.

The experts also lamented China’s role in limiting competent action by the World Health Organization (W.H.O) during the early days of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and similar attempts to influence other U.N. bodies. 

The Congressional Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations hosted the hearing on Wednesday, titled, “The Chinese Communist Party’s Malign Influence at the United Nations — It’s Getting Worse.” The hearing followed a similar event in February hosted by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, a bicameral body, that focused only on the Universal Periodic Review. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) chaired both events. 

On Wednesday, Smith lamented the “ever-worsening, pervasive malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the United Nations.”

“The CCP is not a benign rival of the United States or other free nations but poses an existential threat to its neighbors in the region and a serious military threat to the United States,” Rep. Smith asserted. “Under Xi Jinping, the CCP has mastered the art of subverting the international rules-based order through its involvement at the UN. And I am deeply concerned that the Biden Administration is not taking sufficient action to stop it.” 

That subversion, he noted, comes in the form of pressuring “Chinese nationals in UN leadership positions to prioritize Party interests over their obligation to the UN charter.”

“When Wu Hongbo was head of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, he admitted to acting in China’s interest at the UN — including throwing Xinjiang [East Turkistan] human rights supporters out of UN buildings,” he recalled. “And when Chinese nationals do attempt to carry out leadership duties without doing Xi Jinping’s bidding, they are summarily punished — as in the case of Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese head of Interpol.” 

Hongwei disappeared in 2018, after shortly after canceling a “red notice,” or request for arrest, against the head of the World Uyghur Congress, and resurfaced in Chinese prison two years later, sentenced to serve 13 years for alleged corruption.

Smith also recalled the pressure Chinese officials imposed on the head of the W.H.O., Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Beijing’s lack of respect for repeated requests for information from Wuhan on the spread of a novel coronavirus that ultimately took millions of lives worldwide. 

Addressing the hearing, Suzanne Nossel, the head of the free speech organization PEN America, accused China of engaging in “a concerted effort to secure executive leadership posts across the UN.”

“From 2020 to 2022, the PRC headed four of the body’s 15 specialized agencies – a stark contrast to the last two decades, during which China held the lowest number of UN executive positions among both permanent and aspiring Security Council members,” Nossel noted.

Nossel also noted the connection between China’s leverage at its Universal Periodic Review and the BRI, a global infrastructure plan in which China offers predatory loans to impoverished countries allegedly intended to pay for infrastructure projects. When the countries cannot pay the loans, China uses its influence to impose its agenda, seize property, or demand political favors.

“Many of the countries that spoke are deeply indebted on BRI projects and were reportedly subject to economic threats from Beijing in advance of the hearing,” Nossel said of the Human Rights Council assessment of China. 

Former American Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council Kelley Currie testified on the encroaching Chinese communist influence in the organization that she observed while there, noting that it goes beyond elbowing into positions of power and strong-arming weaker countries into attempts to rewrite much of the philosophical structure of the U.N. by inserting communist propaganda catchphrases into critical international law.

“Xi Jinping Thought has become enshrined in the international lexicon,” Currie denounced. “‘Win-Win Cooperation on Human Rights’ is now a permanent platform for China’s assault on human rights from within the UN system. And UN officials continue to parrot ‘shared future’ and other loaded language—either ignorantly or willfully propagating these toxic phrases.”

The changing of language within the U.N. system, she explained, serve to promote a “funhouse mirror vision of human rights” crafted to amass power on the international stage for dictator Xi Jinping. 

Currie also recalled a disturbing incident in which a Chinese diplomat directly threatened the secretary-general of the U.N., Antonio Guterres:

Chinese diplomats have been accused of harassing civil society representatives on UN premises, including by blocking their access to UN forums. During one such incident involving Dolkan Isa, head of the World Uyghur Congress, the Chinese ambassador reportedly was heard screaming threats at Guterres over the telephone, demanding he stop Isa from entering the UN.

This transgressive behavior has not led China to suffer any meaningful loss of access or diminution of influence at the UN. Rather, China’s leverage and influence keeps growing.

Andrew Bremberg, the president emeritus of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations outpost in Geneva, similarly accused Chinese officials of having “actively sought to place Chinese nationals in key positions within the UN system, including specialized agencies, to quietly change the status quo.” Bremberg noted the influence of the BRI on the behavior of other states, who were suddenly showing “backing for China’s positions on contentious issues or in elections for UN bodies” after falling into BRI “debt traps.”

Bremberg also noted that the U.N. Human Rights Council has ignored critical evidence that China is engaging in genocide and other crimes against humanity, specifically a 2022 report by the Victims of Communism Foundation known as the Xinjiang Police Files that featured leaked police information, Communist Party officials’ speeches calling for genocide, and the names and identities, including photos, of thousands of those forced into China’s Uyghur concentration camps. 

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‘It is shameful that this report has never been discussed at a meeting of the UN HRC [Human Rights Council],’ Bremberg told Congress. ‘While the United States attempted to add this to the HRC agenda at the 51st session in October 2022, this effort failed by two votes. What I find even more shameful is the fact that the U.S. has made no attempt since to get this report on any agenda.’”

In dealing with China, it is perhaps wise to recall this line from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address all the way back in 1961. His warning was not about China specifically but US adversaries in general. JFK noted that it would be wise to “ remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”

Good advice that in today’s world can surely be applied to U.S. dealings with Communist China.