Summary of Coming Soon to the United Nations: Chinese Leadership and Authoritarian Values

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Coming Soon to the United Nations: Chinese Leadership and Authoritarian Values summary
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The promotion and protection of human rights has not just been a key guiding principle of the United Nations but also a stated core value of US foreign policy. Yet as the United States has been retreating from its leadership role at the UN, the organization is at peril of losing its way. Kristine Lee makes a passionate plea to US policymakers to prevent the erosion of universal values that have shaped the modern world order.

About the Author

Kristine Lee is an Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC.



The United States is retreating from its historic leadership role at the United Nations.

The United States’ commitment to the United Nations has been in gradual decline. In 2011, the US reduced its annual funding of one of the UN’s flagship agencies, UNESCO, by $80 million. Since President Donald Trump took office, the US formally withdrew from several key agencies, including UNESCO and the Human Rights Council. The Trump administration, which has been promoting an “America First” foreign policy, has been openly critical and at times downright hostile toward multilateral institutions like the UN.

As China raises its international profile, it is using its growing clout at the UN to advance its own policy interests.

As the...

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