The UNHRC, along with the UNCHR before it, has been a sore spot for a while now. The nations that most want to be on it tend to be the nations that really, really should not be on it.
Consider the fable of the chicken and the pig discussing breakfast. The pig is said to be far less enthused about a eggs-and-bacon breakfast, because while the chicken is merely "involved", the pig would be "comitted".
Logically, if you're a country that's concerned about improving human rights in the world, its probably going to be one of many concerns you have, but its probably not an existential issue for you like it is for the perpetrators. Other nations are merely involved, while the abuser nations are committed.
On 12 October 2021, the Human Rights Watch criticised UNHRC elections
and stated that UN member countries should refrain from voting for
Cameroon, Eritrea, United Arab Emirates, and other candidates as they
hold abysmal rights records. These countries were alleged not to meet
the qualifications for membership on the board. The UN director at
Human Rights Watch, Louis Charbonneau said that electing such serious
rights abusers sends a terrible message that the UN member states do
not take the council's fundamental mission to protect human rights
Cameroon, Eritrea, and UAE all won their elections, and are current members in good standing of the UNHRC.
So now let's look at this vote. There were 19 votes against, 17 for, and 11 abstensions:
The following 17 nations who "sided with China" have a recent history of their own human rights issues:
Bolivia, Cameroon, China itself of course, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Eritrea (mentioned above), Gabon, Indonesia, Khasakhstan, Mauratania, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Venezuela.
The following two countries aren't nearly as bad as the above group, but have had significant Chinese investment ($1 Billion or more), and "sided with China":
That's the rogue's gallery that voted with China. Of the 11 nations that abstained, it looks like about 6 or 7 of them would fit right in on the abusers list above themselves, and one of them is currently in a war for its own existence with Russia, and one would imagine doesn't want to tick off any other permanent UN Security Council members they don't have to.