A routine report released Tuesday (May 4) by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), a standing body of the U.S. Congress, shows that Chinese (Communist Party of China) officials serve as directors general of four U.N. agencies and as governors of one international organization, accounting for about one-third of the total number of U.N. agencies.
The report released Tuesday includes an updated list of mainland Chinese officials who head major international organizations and hold senior leadership positions at the UN, which is updated every six months and includes board and top management positions.
Outsiders believe that the Chinese Communist Party has sought to export its influence abroad and even tilt the policies of international institutions such as the United Nations directly toward the Communist Party over the years by vying for key positions at those institutions.
Communist Party Officials Hold Four UN Organization Directorships
First, Zhao Houlin has been at the helm of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) since 2015. Prior to his tenure at the UN, Zhao worked at China’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, which is now part of the Ministry of Industrial Information Technology. The ITU is an important organization within the UN system. Multiple governments have advocated that the ITU should be given absolute power over the Internet. Cho was dismissive when asked by Korean media outlet Yonhap News Agency about his views on Beijing’s Internet censorship agency.
Second, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which regulates global air travel and the aviation industry, is also under Beijing’s control. The organization is run by Liu Fang, whose second term will not expire until July 2021. Liu Fang began her career in the aviation sector under the Chinese Communist regime. ICAO has become notorious for its hostility to democratic Taiwan and its proposal to impose an international tax on air travel.
Once again, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has been run by Li Yong, a former Communist Party vice minister of finance, since 2013, and he was reappointed for a second term in 2017. Several Western governments withdrew from the notorious UN agency after funding dictatorial regimes in Cuba and Iran. Li Yong, who runs the agency, often defends and promotes Chinese companies such as Huawei, by exaggerating the propaganda via Beijing’s propaganda machine and claiming UN support for it.
The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will be headed by Qu Dongyu, a former deputy minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, starting in 2019. According to media reports, Beijing has used bribes and threats to lock down the influential position. The UN food and agriculture agency sets worldwide agricultural policy and distributes food aid. The Chinese Communist Party boasts that it played a “key role” in the UN’s development of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which the UN touts as a “master plan for humanity.
In addition to the four UN posts mentioned above, another international organization, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was established in 2016, has been headed by Chinese Communist Party official Jin Liqun from the start. Jin was promoted to vice minister of the Communist Party’s Ministry of Finance in 1998 when Zhu Rongji became Communist Party premier.
List of Chinese Communist officials who have held key positions at the UN
In addition to holding the top seat at the UN, there are a number of Chinese Communist Party officials who hold other key leadership positions at UN agencies. For example, Liu Zhenmin, who has been serving as deputy secretary-general of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs since 2017, took over the position from another Chinese Communist Party official, Liu, who had served as deputy minister of the Communist Party’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Separately, Xu Haoliang serves as assistant secretary-general of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which has a history of pushing for the communist regime.
One example is that back in the 1980s, UNDP helped Beijing’s Pyongyang ally build a semiconductor factory under the pretext of “development. The North Korean regime used the factory to produce missile parts.
Then there is Xue Hanqin’s role as Vice President of the UN Tribunal (ICJ). The UN Tribunal is the main judicial body of the United Nations. It calls itself the “World Court” and is designed to resolve disputes between governments.
In addition, there are many Beijing officials who serve as deputy heads of UN agencies. For example, Liu Jian serves as chief scientist and acting director of the science department of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP is the organization that helps shape global environmental policy.
Chinese Communist Party officials have been strong advocates of cutting carbon dioxide emissions in Western countries, while the Communist Party’s own emissions continue to grow.
Yang Yung serves as an interregional affairs advisor to the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) and was previously an official with the Communist Party’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
At the World Health Organization, which has been criticized for following Beijing’s arguments in the global pandemic of the New Coronavirus (CCP), CCP official Ren Minghui has been appointed Assistant Director General for the Global Health Coverage program.
The deputy director general of the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization is also a Chinese Communist official, Wang Bingying. Beijing has lobbied for Wang to become the agency’s director general, but experts fear that if a Chinese Communist official takes control of the agency, Beijing will have access to the world’s largest repository of intellectual property and intellectual secrets, threatening U.S. companies and national security.