China expected to take over Japan's second spot in contributions to United Nations

Chinese Peacekeepers in the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) parade during the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in Juba, South Sudan on May 29, 2017.
Chinese Peacekeepers in the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) parade during the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in Juba, South Sudan on May 29, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Japan is expected to drop from its position as the second-largest contributor to the United Nations' general budget in the 2019-2021 period, with China taking over that spot, according to a UN report estimating contributions.

Given the high possibility that Japan's current slot, which it has held since the 1980s, will be overtaken by China, Japan's presence in the UN may wane. The United States is the largest contributor.

Each country's share of the UN general budget is reviewed every three years, based on factors such as gross national income (GNI), economic strength and the ability to contribute. Measures to reduce the burden are established for developing countries, while developed countries are supposed to make up the difference.

The breakdown for the UN budget over the 2019-2021 period will be determined at the end of 2018, following negotiations among the member countries based on estimates as of 2018. However, a UN source said there will be no drastic change in the trend of estimates in 2018.

According to an estimate of different nations' shares as of 2017, Japan's contributions are expected to decrease from 9.7 per cent in 2016-2018 to 8.7 per cent, while China is expected to considerably increase its contributions from 7.9 per cent to 10.8 per cent. As a result, China is expected to supplant Japan as the UN's second-largest contributor.

China's share in the world's GNI is 13.9 per cent, almost double that of Japan's 7 per cent. The final shares will be determined through various adjustments. However, China's rise shows the difference between Japan and China in the speed of their economic growth.

According to 2017 estimates, Germany ranked fourth with 6.2 per cent, followed by Britain with 4.6 per cent and France with 4.5 per cent. The shares of these European nations will remain essentially the same, but China is expected to drastically increase its contribution.

The US will maintain its position as the largest contributor, providing the maximum allowed share of 22 per cent.

In 1983, Japan's contributions surpassed 10 per cent. Soon after that, Japan became the second-largest contributor, overtaking the Soviet Union. Its share reached 20.6 per cent in 2000, but has declined primarily due to economic stagnation. Based on the percentage of its share, Japan's contributions in 2017 are about US$244 million (S$330 million).