The World According to China – James Traub
In the New York Times Magazine, James Traub writes about China’s Ambassador to the United Nations and China’s growing role in the UN:
China now aspires to play an active role on the global stage, which is why it sends skilled diplomats like Wang Guangya to the U.N. That’s the good news. The bad news is that China’s view of “the international order” is very different from that of the United States, or of the West, and has led it to frustrate much of the agenda that makes the U.N. worth caring about. The People’s Republic has used its position as a permanent, veto-bearing member of the Security Council to protect abusive regimes with which it is on friendly terms, including those of Sudan, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Myanmar and North Korea. And in the showdown with Iran that is now consuming the Security Council, and indeed the West itself, China is prepared to play the role of spoiler, blocking attempts to levy sanctions against the intransigent regime in Tehran.
It’s a truism that the Security Council can function only insofar as the United States lets it. The adage may soon be applied to China as well. [Full text]