National Security Institute Publishes New NSI Law and Policy Paper: Responding to China at the United Nations

November 12, 2020
Contact: Christina Brown

National Security Institute Publishes New NSI Law and Policy Paper:
“Responding to China at the United Nations”


Arlington, VA – As China uses international organizations to manipulate norms and standards to its advantage, the National Security Institute (NSI) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School published its latest NSI Law and Policy Paper, “Responding to China at the United Nations,” by NSI Visiting Fellow Vincent J. Vitkowsky and Rachida Mecheri.

This Law and Policy Paper:

  •  Describes the energetic and persistent activities of China to promote its geopolitical objectives through the United Nations.
  • Summarizes China’s activities in the World Health Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and the Subsidiary Bodies addressing the Internet and cyberspace, as well as its pursuit of leadership positions in key UN Departments.
  • Evaluates the impact of these efforts on control of pandemics, Internet freedom, the development of international law and norms in cyberspace, and the future trajectory of the developing world.
  • Proposes actionable recommendations to counterbalance China’s activities, including remaining in and reforming the World Health Organization and renewing the focus on other specific UN Agencies, Subsidiary Bodies, and Departments.

“The authors describe the downside risks to U.S. interests when the U.S. cedes ground to China in United Nations’ fora,” said Matthew Heiman, Director of Strategy at the National Security Institute at GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School.  “For those advocating a departure from these institutions, they should answer the authors’ arguments.  For those arguing that the U.S. should stay or re-engage, they will find support in this timely paper,” he said.

“As the two great world powers, the U.S. and China inevitably compete for global influence,” said authors Vincent J. Vitkowsky and Rachida Mecheri.  “The United Nations is a key forum for shaping the contours of that competition.  This paper offers a strategic and assertive approach for responding to China at the United Nations.”

The paper is available here.

Vincent J. Vitkowsky’s bio can be found here.

Rachida Mecheri worked at the United Nations for almost three decades, serving successively in its Legal Office, its Centre on Transnational Corporations, and its Department of Public Information (now the Department of Global Communications) in various capacities.  She has degrees from the Université Lyon III-Jean Moulin School of Law, the Université Paris II-Pantheon-Assas, and the Institut d’Etude des Relations Internationales (ILERI Paris).

About the National Security Institute

The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.

About George Mason
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

About the Scalia Law School
The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.