Beijing pays its UN dues, implies US should follow

China on Tuesday said it has paid its 2021 dues to the United Nations and hinted that the United States, which also owes money, should pay up to uphold “multilateralism with concrete actions.”

On April 13 China “paid in full all assessed contributions to the UN regular budget” for 2021, a statement from China’s UN mission read.

And in late February China had paid “the remaining assessments for seven peacekeeping operations.”

The exact amount of Beijing’s contribution to the United Nations was unknown.

As the “second largest contributor to UN regular budget and peacekeeping assessments, China has always actively supported the work of the United Nations, firmly safeguarded the international system, and upheld multilateralism with concrete actions,” the statement read.

The United States, which under President Joe Biden has promised to re-engage in multilateral diplomacy, is the UN’s largest financial contributor but has a debt of around $1.3 billion, including $700 million for the current year, according to UN officials.

The global organization’s annual operating budget is around $3.2 billion, while its separate peacekeeping budget is around $6.5 billion.

The United States contributes 22 percent to the operating budget, and in principle nearly 28 percent to the peacekeeping budget.

In 2017 then president Donald Trump reduced the US contribution to the peacekeeping budget to 25 percent.

Beijing became the second largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping operations in 2016, and the second largest to the operating budget in 2019, ahead of Japan.

“China has fulfilled its financial obligations in full, on time, and without conditions in accordance with the UN Charter, demonstrating the role it plays as a responsible major country,” the Chinese statement read.

Member states “should fulfill their legal obligations, actively respond to the Secretary-General’s appeal, and pay all assessments as soon as possible,” it added.