China has forced Ukraine to withdraw its support for a call for more scrutiny of human rights in China's western Xinjiang region. It threatened to withhold Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines destined for Ukraine unless it did so. It is reported by Associated Press.
Ukraine briefly joined a statement by over 40 countries, presented by Canada at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, urging China to allow immediate access for independent observers to Xinjiang. Some human rights groups have alleged Chinese mistreatment of Muslim Uyghurs and others in the region.
On Thursday, Ukraine pulled its name off the list of supporting states after Chinese authorities warned Kyiv that they would block a planned shipment of at least 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Ukraine unless it did so, said diplomats from two Western countries. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Ukraine has agreed to purchase 1.9 million doses of CoronaVac vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech.
In the past, China’s government has been no stranger to pressuring other countries in Geneva diplomatic circles or in national capitals either to line up behind its statements or avoid backing statements that criticize, question or seek scrutiny of human rights in the country.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the G7 countries at the summit agreed to create a global project to counter China.