On Building a Community of Shared Future for The United Nations : Analysis on China’s Performance in The United Nations General Assembly 2013–2018

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Title: On Building a Community of Shared Future for The United Nations : Analysis on China’s Performance in The United Nations General Assembly 2013–2018
Author: Taskinen, Mika-Matti
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202004221942
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Alue- ja kulttuurintutkimuksen maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Area and Cultural Studies
Magisterprogrammet i region- och kulturstudier
Specialisation: Aasian tutkimus
Asian Studies
Abstract: Over the course of the last decades, China’s rise has been among the most essential phenomena in world politics. Along with it, the consensus among scholars is that in the era of president Xi Jinping, China has abandoned the “hide and bide” principle and become an active norm leader in the global arena. This study examines China’s influence and activity in the United Nations General Assembly, the organ which has the broadest agenda within the UN system and in which every state has equal representation. This work fills the gap in recent research on the General Assembly by studying resolutions adopted between 2013 and 2018 that China participated drafting. Hence, the study expands the scope of China's known activity in international affairs. This study utilizes both quantitative and qualitative content analysis. By using mixed methods, it was possible to extract numeric data from the sample (n=351) but also to take a closer look at the language of the resolutions. Furthermore, the data also revealed the countries that supported and opposed China-sponsored resolutions, determining the group of countries that enabled China’s rise in the General Assembly. The analysis showed that China’s global responsibility campaign stretched to the General Assembly in which it actively participated in decision making. While the majority of the resolutions that China sponsored were in line with the overall sentiment, clashes occurred especially in the subjects concerning individual freedoms and human rights. In these spheres, the individual-centered order led by the United States competes with China’s state-centered order. China appears to have gained the upper hand by having the support of circa 120 states, mostly in the developing world. The study concludes that China is the most active global power in the General Assembly, and with the help of the majority of the UN member states, has managed to promote its worldview in the resolutions.
Subject: China
global governance
global order
human rights
international affairs
the United Nations
world politics

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