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International relations

China set to surpass Japan as No. 2 contributor to UN

Beijing's contribution jumps to 12% from 7.9% of budget

The United Nations flag flies outside the U.N. Secretariat Building in New York. The U.S. will continue to provide the largest share of the global body's budget.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- China will overtake Japan as the second-largest contributor to the United Nations general budget for the first time, a new report from the global organization shows.

Beijing is poised to fund 12% of the U.N.'s general budget for the 2019-2021 period, the report said, up from 7.92% during the previous three years. Japan's share will fall to 8.56% from 9.68%, according to calculations by the Committee on Contributions. 

China replaced Japan as the second-biggest contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping budget back in 2016.

Every three years, the U.N. revises how much money it assesses from member states, based on economic indicators including gross national income. The report notes that China's growth in gross domestic product outpaced the world average during the 2011-2016 period.  

The U.S. will continue providing a 22% share of the organization's overall budget in 2019-2021, according to the report, remaining the top contributor despite efforts by Washington to cut U.N. spending.

Long a major international donor, Japan seeks a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council -- a goal that could become harder if Tokyo's financial clout diminishes.

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