According to the report of CGTN, Tymoshenko's well again from COVID-19, mainly because some tranditional Chinese medicine(TCM). Chinese embassy gave it to her and most likely it's proactive. After that, Chinese media reported it actively, they posted it on newspapers and websites. But if we ignore the news from Chinese media, we'll find there's little news in other media in other countries.

So why did China do so? If it's true, is it a signal from China about Ukraine problem?

  • 2
    You're asking about six different questions here; please narrow it down to just one.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 12:33
  • @Gregory I found it on one of the biggest Chinese political newspaper.
    – Clever TP
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 13:15
  • 6
    It honestly just sounds like a feel-good story that works in China and tells how Traditional Chinese medicine works against Covid and even important (white) people acknowledge this. Tymoshenko is no longer an important figure in Ukraine and I would be hesitant to put a lot of thought into it regarding China-Ukraine relations. Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 16:13
  • You made a point, Thomas Koelle! You should give it as an answer
    – Gregory
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 16:23

3 Answers 3


China actively helped Tymoshenko (former Ukrainian prime minister) with her Covid-19 sickness to collaborate, to adjust, to strengthen relations with the Ukrainian government, and that Tymoshenko can sell and send a good image of China to Ukrainian nationals, the government and also that Chinese treatments methods like TCM are a great way to fight the current virus. It's well known that China gives aid to international nations, as also contributing to developing a vaccine in the UN to fight the coronavirus pandemic by exporting PPE, masks, test systems, and also medical teams (UK...) and this is acknowledged by Zelensky and the Ukrainian government.

Zelensky stressed that Ukraine and China had cooperated effectively in the fight against COVID-19. He thanked China for the humanitarian assistance provided to Ukraine to combat the coronavirus, assistance in the air transportation of medical cargo, as well as the return of Ukrainian citizens home.

  • “Thousands of test systems, face masks, goggles, gloves, and other personal protective equipment were sent to Ukrainian hospitals at the beginning of the pandemic in Ukraine this spring. It saved many Ukrainians,” Zelensky said.

China is interested in Ukraine and wants to build up Relations due to geopolitical reasons. Ukraine is very important to the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) as it links China to European markets (EU). "For China, as a global power, its presence in as many countries as possible is a tool by which it can exert quiet influence (by making the countries dependent on China’s trade routes and economy)."

For China, there are two elements of importance here: geographic proximity to the EU and potential for investment. Ukraine has oriented its foreign and domestic policy towards Europe. As it reforms, Ukraine will offer improved transparency, democratic accountability, and the rule of law. In playing by the rules, Ukraine will attract Chinese business hoping to invest in manufacturing for export to the EU.




Why did China actively help Tymoshenko with her disease of COVID-19?

Short Answer:

Because Beijing fears a global backlash over their mishandling of the Virus they have used heavy handed propaganda in a shameless attempt to change the narrative. Extorting positive affirmations from political leaders desperate for assistance has been their goto. This appears to be another example of that behavior, reported by CGTN, a state controlled propaganda institution of the Chinese Communist party.

Traditional Chinese Medicine as a cure to Covid19, Indeed!

Internal Chinese(CCP) report warns Beijing faces Tiananmen-like global backlash over virus
"The report presented early last month (March/2020) by the Ministry of State Security to top Beijing leaders including President Xi Jinping, concluded that global anti-China sentiment is at it's highest since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown."

Detailed Answer:

This appears to be yet another example of one of the most disturbing behaviors China's Communist Party has exhibited during the Covid outbreak. Targeting political leaders and extorting positive press from those desperate for assistance. If one is afraid and potentially dieing, and one's neighbor comes over with chicken noodle soup, taking a few dozen selfies and demanding you record a video thanking him. Thanking him for soup you typically paid him for. That's not behavior most people would consider acceptable.

With a series of high-level summits culminating in a visit to Germany in the fall by President Xi Jinping, this was supposed to be the year of Europe-China diplomacy. Instead, Europeans are warning of a damaging rift.
Diplomats talk of mounting anger over China’s behavior during the coronavirus pandemic including claims of price gouging by Chinese suppliers of medical equipment and a blindness to how its actions are perceived. The upshot is that Beijing’s handling of the crisis has eroded trust just when it had a chance to demonstrate global leadership.

"Often, Chinese officials tell counterparts abroad that they must publicly thank China in return for the shipments."

Take a public phone call between the Presidents of Poland and China, the report is Poland's president was under durres.

Global Backlash Builds Against China over Coronavirus
"Poland wasn't going to get this stuff unless the phone call was made, so they could use that phone call" for propaganda, Ms. Mosbacher US Ambassador to Poland.

Extorting Political leaders for Coronavirus supplies, has been used by China to gain public thanks for the transfers as well as praise for how China's has handled the Coronavirus response.

Germany says China sought to encourage positive COVID-19 comments "Chinese diplomats approached German government officials in an attempt to encourage them to make positive statements on how Beijing is handling the coronavirus pandemic".


Chinese government asks Wisconsin Senate for a commendation
Senate President Roth strikes back with a China-COVID resolution of his own


China is not the hero of the Pandemic
You can criticize Trump without parroting Beijing's propaganda


I broadly agree with JMS's answer. There is another element though which I think is missed:

Xi Jinping really really likes TCM:

  • Hospitals are now forced to prescribe it. Typically if you go to a public hospital in China, you will receive two prescriptions - one (cheap) for the normal medicine that every other country on the planet uses, and another (hugely expensive) that contains often dozens of mixed herbs. The hospital administrators love it because it provides a sorely needed extra source of funds.

  • It could shortly become illegal to criticize TCM in Beijing

This is despite the sad fact that TCM is now one of the leading causes of liver disease in China.

The C.C.P. are doing everything they can to promote its use, both within China and (not very successfully) overseas.

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