- Beijing’s ‘improper’ influence over international institutions
- What does Xi mean by ‘peaceful reunification’?
- Huawei to build smart 5G station in Hungary
- Vienna study warns of dependence on China
- Beijing updates Negative Investment List
- Conference on species conservation kicks off in Kunming
- Economist Zhang Jun: China’s strength is its ability to learn
This annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank held this week will be overshadowed by an allegation: The head of the World Bank is accused of having manipulated a country ranking in Beijing’s favor. Whether Kristalina Georgieva is truly guilty of manipulation is still open. But her case is part of a larger trend, as Felix Lee reports: China is resorting to illicit means to exert its influence in international institutions such as the United Nations. For example, African nations are frequently granted debt relief or a loan in exchange for a vote in Beijing’s favor.
China’s president has offered Taiwan a “peaceful reunification”. Aggression and hegemony are not in the blood of the Chinese people, Xi also added. But one should closely listen to the president’s speech from this weekend. Because his supposedly peaceful offer quickly turns out to be a kind of wolf in sheep’s clothing, as Finn Mayer-Kuckuk analyses. The divide between Beijing and Taipei has never been greater. How did this come about? And what does it mean for the future? Find out in our report.
Be it semiconductors or vaccines – the Covid pandemic has shown us how remarkably fragile global supply chains are. A new study from Vienna now warns of the impacts of a trade conflict between Europe and China. Germany in particular could be hit hard. Therefore, Europe urgently needs to bring back the production of medications or essential components of pioneering technologies.
I hope our latest issue grants new insights!
Manipulation in Beijing’s favor? Debate over IMF chief
The accusations are grave: China’s leadership is said to be systematically exerting power in international organizations to advance its interests. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) apparently played down the risk of the spread of COVID-19 for weeks – to Beijing’s advantage. And at the United Nations, too, diplomats have repeatedly complained about China’s sometimes audacious influence. Now, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva is also under fire. The Bulgarian economist allegedly distorted the results of several studies for China’s benefit while working for the World Bank.
The current director of the International Monetary Fund had led the World Bank on a transitional basis in 2019. She is accused of having manipulated an important country ranking in favor of China during this time. This was the result of an investigative report by the US law firm WilmerHale. Georgieva and other senior World Bank officials are alleged to have exerted “undue pressure” on staff to improve China’s score in the 2018 “Doing Business” report ranking. The People’s Republic ultimately ranked 78th after being ranked 85th in an initial draft. WilmerHale’s report suggests that Georgieva, as then managing director of the World Bank, used fraudulent measures to bring about this result.
The World Bank itself has since ordered a commission to review the report’s methodology. Experts have uncovered considerable flaws. In fact, its method of evaluation is susceptible to interpretation and different evaluation. As a consequence, the institution has since discontinued the report. However, these events do not confirm the accusations made against Georgieva.