[NEW YORK] China signed an agreement at the United Nations on Friday to begin unlocking a US$1 billion fund to support the world body's work in peace, security and development, with a first payment of US$200 million.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the mega-fund at the UN General Assembly meeting in September, in a move widely seen as showcasing Beijing's status as a global player.
The agreement provides for a contribution of US$200 million over the next 10 years. Half of the US$20 million annual payment will will go to peace and security, and the remaining US$10 million to development.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is "extremely appreciative of this generous contribution to the UN," said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
The fund demonstrates China's "strong commitment" to the goals and activities of the United Nations, he added.
During his address in September, Mr Xi also promised to contribute 8,000 troops to UN peacekeeping.