Washington: The United States needs to "fight" against Chinese harmful influence in the United Nations and needs to build an alliance to investigate the source of COVID-19 as well address human rights abuses in Xinjiang, a senior US official told Congress.
"They exert enormous influence in the United Nations, and it's malign ... influence that promotes an authoritarian approach to multilateralism," US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "We need to fight that every step of the way." Greenfield said that the United States shied away from multilateral engagement in the last four years, as a result, Beijing and other countries have taken leadership posts at a number of inter-governmental organisations, South China Morning Post reported.
"During the last four years, the United States shied away from multilateral engagement, ceding America's historic leadership and damaging our standing with the international community," said Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York and the committee's chairman.
Thomas-Greenfield said Washington paying its UN dues was a first step to countering China's growing UN influence, even as Washington pushes for reforms at the 75-year organisation. Beijing has repeatedly chided Washington over its arrears.
China has moved aggressively to boost its influence at the global body, securing top positions for its nationals at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the International Telecommunication Union and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation as well as junior spots within the UN Secretariat.
"We are regularly engaged on the genocide issue of the Uyghurs and raising that at the Security Council," she told the committee.
"I'm also appalled that we have to sit next to some of the world's worst human rights abusers, when we're sitting in the council," she added.