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China Quietly Infiltrates the United Nations

Under Xi Jinping, the China’s defensive “snapping turtle” diplomacy has become a more aggressive “wolf Warrior.”

by | Apr 17, 2024 | Articles, Opinion, Politics

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has stealthily insinuated itself into ever-more influential positions at the United Nations, three experienced attorneys testified at a recent congressional hearing. furthering Chinese economic hegemony while chiseling away at Western human rights protections. Titled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Malign Influence at the United Nations – It’s Getting Worse,” the hearing before the House Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations featured bipartisan whistle-blowing against one-party China.

Bringing differing perspectives to the hearing, the witnesses shared common insights to demonstrate that China has shrewdly employed financial diplomacy to secure key UN leadership positions to further its national economic interests under its “Belt and Road” initiative while reshaping international human rights toward more autocratic principles. The unflattering portrait of steadily growing Chinese influence over UN policy was less subtle than President Xi Jinping’s artful CCP policies.


The crafty term “Xiplomacy” was coined in China as shorthand for the wily CCP shift to “Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.” The rise of Jinping to party leadership brought a change from China’s erstwhile “snapping turtle” defensive diplomacy to “wolf warrior” foreign policy. Neither the wolf nor turtle is featured in the Sheng Xiao (Chinese zodiac), but the clear imagery well reflects the current strategy of the nation often called the Red Dragon, the Middle Kingdom, or (as coined by Napoleon) the “Sleeping Giant.”

Following the CCP’s disastrous Tiananmen Square incident in 1989, the Western world cringed. Then-CCP-leader Deng Xiaoping advised his party leadership to “hide your strength and bide your time.” In recent years, Jinping has departed from this stealthy path to an increasingly aggressive foreign posture. China has steadily secured economic and raw materials footholds around the globe in its nationalist “Belt and Road” initiatives while an overconfident and self-focused America has gradually become the giant that fell asleep and lost its strength. The UN has served as an important fulcrum to advance China’s ambitious hegemony at the expense of Western economic, political, and humanitarian preeminence.

The Wolf Warrior in Sheep’s Clothing

The wolf warrior mantra resembles a “Make China Great Again” kind of nationalism. Former US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Andrew Bremberg testified that he witnessed this foreign policy transition firsthand, asserting that it “… actively bends international norms to fit Beijing’s malign interest, at times specifically challenging the Western international order established by the U.S. and our allies following World War II.” Bremberg highlighted China’s use of financial contributions to the UN to “place Chinese nationals in key positions within the UN system, including specialized agencies, to quietly change the status quo.” The conclusion was that China has employed its Machiavellian UN infiltration to shape discourse and international norms to shield its own human rights abuses from scrutiny, fortify its economic ambitions and power, continue its theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers, and counter transparency.

Ambassador Bremberg further emphasized that “the COVID-19 pandemic showed the world firsthand the consequences of China’s influence at the UN. China clearly failed to live up to its obligations under the International Health Regulations (IHRs).” Bremberg has previously criticized the proposed Pandemic Treaty, alleging that the WHO bent to political pressure from China during the COVID-19 outbreak:

“Former Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, the U.S. representative to the WHO during the pandemic, said at the Feb. 5 event that not one of the proposed agreement’s provisions under consideration would deal with the No. 1 issue: China’s lack of transparency and accountability. In 2020, earlier epidemiological data could have helped the U.S. and other countries understand the nature and scope of the outbreak sooner – and thereby respond more effectively.

“Another key concern is Article 18, which calls for combating misinformation through international collaboration. Critics say that could exacerbate the suppression of dissenting viewpoints, which conservatives see as systematized censorship.”

The International Political Battlespace


Former Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council Kelley E. Currie questioned “to what degree is [the CCP] using these institutions to expand their power and influence at our expense,” and concluded that “the more influence China has at the UN, the less likely the UN system’s activities will redound to the benefit of our or the world’s security, freedom, and prosperity.” Attorney Currie warned the Subcommittee sharply:

“….Xi Jinping’s approach to foreign policy is rooted in his conviction that ensuring regime security at home requires a proactive strategy abroad. As a result, China’s efforts to reshape the international political battlespace have grown exponentially in scope, scale, and sophistication over the past ten years.

“His comprehensive national security concept (总体国家安全观 zongti guojia anquan guan) does not 2 functionally distinguish between internal and external security. Rather, according to CCP sources, it encompasses “political, military, homeland security, economic, cultural, social, technological, cyberspace, ecological, resource, nuclear, overseas interests, outer space, deep sea, polar, and biological security issues, among others.” This everything, everywhere, all at once approach is deemed necessary because Xi and his colleagues believe the CCP party-state is under perpetual threat from hostile foreign forces whose true aim is to weaken China and derail the “Chinese Dream” (中国梦 Zhōngguó Mèng) of the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

“As CCP head, Xi Jinping has reinvigorated the Chinese Communist Party’s state security architecture and consolidated personal control over it to a degree unprecedented since Mao,” Currie alleged. She charged that Xi’s various global initiatives “represent an ambitious effort to reshape the normative and ideological underpinnings of the post-World War II global architecture to make the world more accommodating of CCP authoritarianism” wrapped up in an ideological bow as “China’s ‘gift to the world’ of novel solutions to the global challenges of economic development and international peace and security.”

Currie averred that the shift from turtle to wolf is an alarming threat to the world order, that leading members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have partnered with China in this effort, and that Chinese diplomats have sought to insert “community of shared future” globalist propaganda language into UN resolutions. She boldly charged that “Today, the party-state is aggressively promoting its funhouse mirror vision of human rights as superior to the ‘Western’ model.”

China Battling for the UN’s Soul

Equally strident warnings came from Suzanne Nossel, a magna cum laude graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School who worked in the Obama and Clinton administrations and served as Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights Watch and Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. If Currie was cautionary, Nossel was a modern-day UN Jeremiah:

“….Beijing is using its sway within the world body 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 UN has become an arena for contestation between democracy and autocracy. It is a realm that Beijing is taking seriously in its quest for mounting global dominion. …China is determined to reshape the UN in its image––one that downplays individual rights and emphasizes national sovereignty and noninterference in internal affairs.

“The UN has become a key testing ground for Beijing’s global leadership ambitions—and is not a stage China will surrender lightly. Rather than ceding ground as a consequence of ambivalence or political divisions at home over the role and credibility of the UN, the US should meet China at full strength on this global proving ground….”

Under the heading “Battling for the UN’s Soul,” Nossel concluded her powerful presentation with a list of proposed tactics the US must employ to counter the emerging Chinese wolf warrior. She counseled keeping current on UN dues, recommitting to the alliance, supporting US staff in advancement within UN ranks, and taking advantage of America’s position as host country, largest contributor, and “the driving force behind many of its most important initiatives and resolutions.” Her counsel to America was not stealthy, but straightforward: “China recognizes the latent power of the UN as a force multiplier for its interests across the world; we must do so as well…. The US should seize the initiative in shaping the UN for the future.”

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