Turkey values enhanced vaccine cooperation with China: Ambassador
Published: Jan 27, 2021 07:48 PM

Turkish Ambassador to China Abdulkadir Emin Önen

The extradition bill between Turkey and China aims to increase cooperation in criminal justice within the rule of law and the "result-oriented judicial cooperation" in judicial matters will be beneficial for both countrties, Turkish Ambassador to China told the Global Times in an exclusive interivew.

Last Month, China's top legislature ratified the extradition bill with Turkey. The move, however, caused smearing from some people and media outlets who claimed this would lead to "prosecution" of Uygurs. 

In response to the question when Turkey will ratify the extradition bill, Ambassador Abdulkadir Emin Önen pointed out that Turkey has so far concluded extradtion treaties at the bilateral level with 32 countries. "We attach importance to comprehensively improve bilateral judicial cooperation between Turkey and China."

The Treaty of Extradition between Turkey and China was signed at the ministerial level in 2017 to promote bilateral judicial cooperation. The treaty was then submitted to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the standard ratification process of international treaties has begun, he added. 

It should be underlined that, just as our Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu recently stated, "It is the decision of our Parliament to ratify it or not." 

In addition to cooperation in judiciary field, the two countries have witnessed close cooperation in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Turkey recently started its mass vaccination program with Sinovac's CoronaVac.

"The agreement with Sinovac entails the procurement of 50 million doses. First of all, 1.1 million health workers across the country will be vaccinated," he said. 

Recently, some Western media outlets criticized China of so-called "vaccine diplomacy." In response to it, the ambassador said they "try to maintain close dialogue with China regarding vaccine production and supply. 

"Vaccine cooperation should be on everyone's agenda. Diplomacy, in its own way, should contribute to the global effort to combat COVID-19." Our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has emphasized on more than one occasion that work on COVID-19 vaccines should be pursued regardless of political and commercial interests and vaccines should be considered the common property of humankind," he said. 

"As a country trying hard to bring to the fore the concerns of emerging countries, Turkey appreciates and supports China's commitment to prioritize developing countries with respect to accessing COVID-19 vaccines. Upholding multilateralism at this critical stage in our world and humankind is more important than ever," the ambassador stressed.