In pursuit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s global hegemony goals, China’s communist regime has mounted a huge campaign over the past two decades to gain control of international organizations.
The campaign has involved influence peddling and bribery on a grand scale, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has sought to infiltrate, gain control of, and use those organizations to push China-friendly policies, as well as to distract from and suppress issues that are counter-productive or outright embarrassments to Beijing.
Let us examine some of the international agencies corrupted by the CCP and the resulting benefits accrued to the communists.
IMF, World Bank
Created in 1944, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) original purpose was “to eliminate destructive mercantilist trade policies, such as competitive devaluations and foreign exchange restrictions.”
The World Bank finances development projects and short-term balance-of-payments deficits of member countries, which, beginning in 1980, included communist China (the first project loan was approved in 1981).
Rather than “opening up democratically” as those supporting Chinese access to international institutions predicted at the time (which was the public rationale given for “opening China” when the reality was all about the money and access to Chinese consumers), the Chinese regime has retained an authoritarian capitalist system and mercantilist trade policies that exploit other countries by manipulating standards and currency, implementing onerous domestic regulatory certification requirements for companies to operate in China, and using discriminatory government procurement activities that corrupt free trade. Beijing got (and continues to get) access to IMF/World Bank funds without real strings attached.
The CCP also benefited from a data-rigging scandal at the World Bank in 2017 that directly benefited China, as reported by Reuters. The scandal boosted China’s business climate ranking to 78th from 85th in the 2018 report. A higher ranking leads to “increased inflows of foreign investment funds [and] boosting [a] country’s econom[y] and financial market.”
World Trade Organization
The primary purposes of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are to set and enforce rules for international trade, to facilitate further trade liberalization, and to resolve trade disputes.
As a direct result of alleged influence peddling in the United States during the Clinton administration (“Chinagate” and other scandals), China became a member of the WTO in 2001. WTO membership involves awarding “most favored nation status,” facilitating the lowest tariffs possible among member nations. Chinese exports to the United States have rocketed since 2001. However, the liberalization of authoritarian China had not happened as planned by the United States and its allies when China became a WTO member.
All the benefits from WTO membership have accrued to China at the expense of others. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “China has benefited greatly from the WTO, taking advantage of the provisions that suit its interests while skirting less convenient restrictions.”
Over two dozen WTO disputes have alleged Chinese violations of internationally approved trade practices. Many centered around intellectual property theft through forced technology transfers associated with joint ventures between Chinese and U.S. companies.
There are no prospects for change in the foreseeable future, with a U.S. administration more interested in cooperation and engagement than in confrontation with an increasingly belligerent and authoritarian China.
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) is not independent and is subject to the whims and policy preferences of the countries that fund its budget, including its director and staff.
The CCP’s real influence with the WHO reportedly began in 2006 with the “election” of Dr. Margaret Chan, the first overtly pro-China director-general who served 10 years. During this period, the WHO declared the H1N1 “Swine Flu” to be a pandemic, collaborated with Purdue Pharmaceutical to expand opioid use and global addiction, and failed to take action against the Ebola outbreak in 2013, according to the Alliance for Human Research Protection. These and other misguided actions served the CCP’s purpose in conditioning the world to future “pandemics” and stimulating demand for Chinese-produced opioids like fentanyl and their chemical precursors.
Much has been written about how Beijing corrupted the world’s response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus to its own economic and geopolitical benefit under the “leadership” of WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (here, here, here, here, and here). Early in 2020, Tedros commended China for “setting a new standard for outbreak control,” which later became Xi’s signature “zero-COVID” policy, and was emulated by other countries. However, it was dumped after three years of failure in December 2022, and was responsible for unknown numbers of lives destroyed through death and economic deprivation.
As Breitbart reported in January, in another nod to Beijing, the WHO “renew[ed] the status of the coronavirus pandemic as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)” despite dubious data reported by China associated with the termination of the zero-COVID policy.
And as if profiting from the deaths of others isn’t enough for the CCP, the latest push by the WHO is for an international treaty that would strip 194 nations of their sovereignty and give the WHO global control over health matters worldwide.
As previously reported by The Epoch Times, the Biden administration “is preparing to sign up the U.S. to that legally binding accord.” Putting the WHO in the driver’s seat, in reality, places communist China in control.
The United Nation’s “Common Agenda,” which focuses on “re-embracing global solidarity” and “working together for the common good,” echoes Xi’s “community with a shared future,” “win-win cooperation,” and “common prosperity” messaging.
This is no accident, as the CCP has been corrupting and subverting the U.N. since its admission in 1971. Paying approximately 12 percent of the U.N.’s regular budget and peacekeeping assessments makes China the second largest contributor to the organization—giving it much leverage with the U.N. bureaucracy.
The CCP sees the U.N. as an exploitable partner and a useful tool in Beijing’s pursuit of world hegemony. For example, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is a Portuguese socialist who is a primary motivator behind the U.N.’s “sustainability agenda” and is also pushing “for a stronger, more networked and inclusive multilateral system, anchored within the United Nations.”
The “sustainability agenda,” which deals with the supposed “climate crisis,” is perfectly in sync with China’s world dominance in producing green technologies, including batteries, solar panels, and electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the multilateral system championed by the U.N. can only come about with the diminishment of the world’s only superpower (the United States), which has long been a geopolitical goal of Xi and the CCP. Imagine that! The U.N.’s geopolitical goals are the same as communist China’s.
Beijing has been relentlessly pursuing leadership positions within the U.N. bureaucracy to help advance the CCP’s geopolitical goals. As reported by The Diplomat, “four of the 15 U.N. specialized agencies are headed by Chinese nationals, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDP), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”
Chinese career diplomats have also owned the position of under-secretary-general for the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) since 2007, which has allowed Beijing to slyly infiltrate its Belt and Road Initiative investments into the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.
A good example of the Chines regime’s continuing efforts to undermine and influence U.N. decision-making in favor of the CCP’s goals was its establishment of the U.N. Peace and Development Trust Fund in 2016 with a promise of $200 million in Chinese donations over 10 years. The UNPDTF has supported projects that include “peacekeeping security, rapid response system, prevention and mediation, counter-terrorism, strengthening partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations, poverty alleviation,” etc., as reported on its official website.
However, the Spectator (UK) pointed out that the Chinese money came with strings attached: “A priority of this fund is U.N. promotion of Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, with its predatory lending practices, strong-arm diplomacy and trade practices, and potential military extension of China’s reach.” That would be donations “with Chinese characteristics,” for example, in service of the CCP’s geopolitical objectives.
The regime’s influence-peddling at the U.N. continues to pay other dividends. A good example was the U.N. Human Rights Council’s vote of 19-17 against “a Western-led motion to hold a debate about alleged human rights abuses by China against Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang” (East Turkmenistan) last October. The vote made a mockery of the U.N.’s vaunted support for “universal human rights” while allowing the CCP to skate on its continuing genocide against the Uyghur people, including a million-plus languishing in concentration camps.
A related example was the accusation made in February this year by the Uyghur Human Rights Project that the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has “sanitize[ed] the persecution of Uyghurs and destruction of their cultural heritage in China,” as reported by Voice of America News.
The UHRP report accuses UNESCO of violating its own standards because “the Chinese government has destroyed large numbers of mosques, shrines, graveyards, and historic books and restricted the use of Uyghur and other indigenous Turkic languages. Additionally, hundreds, possibly thousands, of Uyghur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz intellectuals and cultural leaders have been imprisoned.”
UNESCO apparently is yet another U.N. agency “with Chinese characteristics.”
Bejing has mounted a comprehensive campaign over the last several decades to gain control of the U.N. and other international organizations. Chinese money and influence-peddling have been wildly successful in influencing these entities in enabling and supporting the CCP’s pursuit of its long-term geopolitical goals, foremost of which include displacing the United States as the world’s superpower and replacing the current liberal international order with a dystopian system dominated by Chinese authoritarianism. The U.N.’s Common Agenda goals could have easily been written in Beijing, as they dovetail seamlessly with China’s “common prosperity” propaganda messaging.
CCP influence peddling has delivered favorable results from many international organizations.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.