Strauss Center News

Updates from the Strauss Center and our affiliated distinguished scholars and fellows


Rana Siu Inboden Publishes on China’s Role in UN and Civil Society

Jul 30, 2021 |

Rana Siu Inboden, Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Affairs at the LBJ School, recently published an article in the Journal of Democracy titled “China at the UN: Choking Civil Society.” In it, she details how China has utilized its role in the UN’s Economic and Social Council NGO Committee where China has consistently stalled or blocked the applications of civil society organizations seeking UN consultative status.

Using four years worth of UN meeting summaries spanning 2016 through 2019 that detail the NGO Committee’s deliberations, she documents how Chinese diplomats not only block applications from NGOs working on human rights issues (including those focused on North Korea) but also enforce the one-China policy by asking applicants to explicitly recognize Tibet and Taiwan as integral parts of Chinese territory and resisting groups engaged in advocacy on Uyghur issues. UN reports on the NGO Committee’s deliberations and interviews with diplomats, UN officials and NGO representatives provide compelling evidence that Beijing seeks to contain NGOs and has worked with the Like-Minded Group (LMG), a coalition of authoritarian countries, to cap the role of civil society in the UN and bar many organizations from participation in this global body.  Read the full article here.