China says no strings attached to vaccine shipments overseas

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BEIJING (AP) — China said Saturday that it provides vaccines to other countries with no political conditions attached. The statement came in response to a story by The Associated Press citing diplomats from two Western countries. They said China had pressured Ukraine into withdrawing from a multi-country statement on human rights in China’s Xinjiang region by threatening to withhold a COVID-19 vaccine shipment. A statement Saturday from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it welcomed Ukraine’s decision to take its name off the statement. It added: “We haven’t heard that Ukraine has encountered any difficulty in importing vaccines from China.” The written response to AP did not directly address the specific charge.

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