NEW YORK - China is expected to overtake Japan as the second-largest contributor to the general U.N. budget beginning in 2019, according to the global body’s latest report on contributions.
According to the U.N. General Assembly report from the committee on contributions, released in June, China’s payment is expected to rise to 10.808 percent while Japan’s drops to 8.718 percent in the period from 2019 to 2021.
There are concerns China’s rise may correspond with waning influence from Japan, fueling fears that reform-minded Tokyo’s aspiration to become a new permanent member of the U.N. Security Council may fall out of reach.
The projections came after a Chinese diplomat said it is “highly likely” that China will jump to a new position during the next three-year period, taking the slot currently held by Japan.
For the period from 2016 to 2018, the scale of assessments adopted for China was 7.921 percent, while Japan is paying almost 2 percentage points more at 9.680 percent.
The scale of assessments is determined by a number of factors including the “most current, comprehensive and comparable data” available for gross national income.
However, other variables such as conversion rates and debt-burden adjustments are also factored into determinations of how much money each country will pay into the budget for the international body.
As China emerges as a stronger economy and growing global power over the years, its scale has been trending upward, although some countries have argued that the assessments have not kept pace with China’s economic worth.
The report also determined that China nearly had a 14 percent share of the world’s GNI — roughly double Japan’s share during the three-year period beginning in 2016.
Debates to restructure the Security Council have gone on for some 25 years with little apparent progress despite Japan’s push for itself, Germany, Brazil and India to become permanent seat holders.
Collectively known as the Group of Four, they have yet to budge the UNSC into altering its composition, which consists of the five permanent members — Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States — and 10 others selected for two-year terms.
The latest projections for the general budget come on the heels of last year’s shift in rankings related to the funding of peacekeeping operations. Beginning in 2016, Japan dropped to third place behind China and the United States, the top contributor.
In contrast to Japan’s recent decision to withdraw the 350-strong Ground Self-Defense Force unit that had been rebuilding South Sudan’s infrastructure for the past five years, China has been increasing its presence in the realm of peacekeeping.