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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Understanding China’s role and contribution to the UN

China is one of the charter members of the United Nations and is one of five permanent members of its Security Council. In recent times, China’s show of strength was just the latest diplomatic triumph in Beijing’s drive to sway the system of international organizations in its direction. China has promised to actively build a community with a shared future for mankind, and continue to do its best to participate in UN affairs.

United Nations was established on 25 October 1945, just after the end of World War II. The Countries, in alliance with America, were declared the winners and five countries got the permanent seat in the Security Council (UNSC) as veto power. The Republic of China, the Nationalist Party was ruling China, became a member of the UNSC.

Later on, on 01 October 1949, the People’s republic of China was established, but the seat at the UN was retained by the Republic of China or Taiwan, till 1971. Because, in early days, the US and many countries in the West were not recognizing the People’s Republic of China and retaining diplomatic and formal relations with the Republic of China or Taiwan.

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China gained its legitimate status at the UN

China kept on struggling to get its legitimate right to join the UN and gain a permanent seat at the UNSC. In the 1960s and early 1970s that the United States’ close ally, Pakistan, especially under the presidency of Ayub Khan, was carrying out messenger diplomacy to the PRC’s entry into the UN by the United States’ diplomacy to the People’s Republic of China in the time of Sino-Soviet split.

This involved secret visits by United States officials to the PRC. In 1971, Henry Kissinger made a secret visit to the PRC through Pakistan. China values Pakistan’s friendship and its role in bridging the Sino-US diplomatic relations. Finally, China was admitted into the UN in 1971 on the 21st time of voting on its application. It was admitted into the UN on a vote of 76 in favor, 35 opposed, and 17 abstentions

It initiated a new era for China and opened unlimited avenues of cooperation, collaboration, and opportunities for China to interact with the global community and contribute toward geopolitics and the global economy.

State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China, Mr. Wang Yi, on 27 September 2021, delivers a speech at the Video Conference Themed “China’s Role in the United Nations”, marking the 50th anniversary of China joining the UN. In the past 50 years, China has put into practice the purposes and principles of the UN Charter with concrete actions and firmly safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. China has become a significant builder of world peace, the largest contributor to global development, a staunch defender of international order, and an active provider of public goods. China has raised its voice for oppressed nations and lobbied for developing countries.

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Addressing the UN

Wang Yi stresses that, at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative, which has provided guidelines for actions and injected theoretical impetus on focusing on development and seeking solidarity for shared development of all countries. The world is at a new historical crossroads right now. Now more than ever, the international community needs to bolster confidence and jointly address challenges, build peace and tranquility, and realize common development.

China will adhere to the guidance of the new vision for development, uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and pursue more robust greener, and more balanced global development. China will continue to bridge divides through dialogue and settle disputes by negotiation, uphold international fairness and justice, and promote the building of new international relations. China will continue to practice multilateralism, safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international law, promote democracy in international relations, and facilitate the reform and building of the global governance system.

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China will work with all countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind with practical actions. We hope more people of insight will contribute their wisdom and strength to this cause. Chinese visionary leadership is engaged in protecting the rights of underdeveloped and developing nations. China always raised its voice in favor of the oppressed and victims.

China’s role in upholding the status 

China is a responsible nation and understands its global responsibilities. China has already emerged as a global power and is in a better position to serve humanity at the global level. China’s role in the UN was significant and some of the highlights are as below:

Over the past 50 years, China has continued to contribute its strength to the cause of the UN. As the largest troop contributor among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has participated in 29 UN peacekeeping missions, sending a total of more than 50,000 personnel. As the largest developing country, China has actively supported the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieved the poverty reduction target set in the 2030 Agenda 10 years ahead of schedule, lifting more than 70 percent of the world’s poor population out of poverty. In the face of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, we launched the largest emergency humanitarian operation in the history of New China, fulfilling our commitment to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good and supporting the relevant efforts of the UN.

Standing at a new historical starting point, China will actively build a community with a shared future for mankind, and continue to do its best to participate in UN affairs, defend the status of the UN, and promote the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We will uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, adhere to true multilateralism, and remain an advocate of world peace, a contributor to global development, defender of international order, and provider of public goods. We are ready to work with other countries to make new and greater contributions to peace and development for all mankind.

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China’s rapid developments and peace-loving nature has become a role model for the rest world and especially many developing countries are following or trying to follow the Chinese model as guidelines.


Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. He can be reached at awanzamir@yahoo.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.