BEIJING ( Associated Press) – China on Friday attacked the theory even after the World Health Organization recommended in its strongest terms that the coronavirus pandemic leaked from a Chinese laboratory as a politically motivated lie. may arise, yet a thorough investigation is needed to determine whether a laboratory accident may be to blame.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also dismissed allegations that China had not fully cooperated with investigators, saying it welcomed the science-based investigation but rejected any political manipulation.
He reiterated calls for investigations into “highly suspicious laboratories such as Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina” in the United States, where China had suggested without evidence that the US was developing the coronavirus as a bioweapon.
“The lab leak theory is a completely fabricated lie for political purposes by anti-China forces, which has nothing to do with science,” Zhao told a daily briefing.
“We have always supported and participated in science-based global virus tracing, but we strongly oppose political manipulation of any kind,” he said, referring to China’s long-standing criticism of delaying or denying further investigation into the virus’s origins. Reiterating the explanation from time to time.
Zhao said that China has made a big contribution in detecting the virus, sharing the most data and research results.
This “fully reflects China’s open, transparent and responsible attitude, as well as its support for the work of WHO and the advisory group,” he said.
WHO’s stand in a report released on Thursday There is a sharp reversal of the initial assessment of the origin of the pandemic by the United Nations health agency. It comes after several critics accused the WHO of being too quick to dismiss or downplay a lab-leaked theory that put Chinese officials on the defensive.
After a tightly controlled visit to China last year, the WHO concluded it was “extremely improbable” that the coronavirus could have spread to humans from a laboratory in the city of Wuhan. Many scientists suspect that the coronavirus may have passed from bats to humans, possibly through another animal.
However, in Thursday’s report, the WHO expert group said “key pieces of data” to explain how the pandemic began were still missing. The scientists said the group will “be open to any and all scientific evidence that becomes available in the future to allow for comprehensive testing of all pertinent hypotheses.”
It usually takes years to identify the source of a disease in animals. It took scientists more than a decade to locate the bat species that were natural reservoirs for SARS, a relative of COVID-19.
The expert group also noted that since laboratory accidents have triggered some outbreaks in the past, the theory cannot be discounted. He said that China has not submitted any study to the WHO assessing the possibility of coronavirus resulting from a laboratory leak.
The new report is a sign of a more confrontational relationship between China’s authoritarian communist leadership and the WHO, which was initially accused of being overly respectable. to Beijing, especially by the former US Trump administration.
The coronavirus has killed more than 6.3 million people worldwide, forcing dozens of countries into lockdown and ravaging the world economy. It was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and was initially linked to a traditional market where wild animals were sold for food.
China was accused of reacting slowly and covering up the extent of the outbreak, before locking down entire Wuhan and surrounding areas in a series of drastic measures called “zero-COVID”, which continues to this day. That continues as the rest of the world reopens.
Last month, the WHO called “zero-COVID” unsustainable, pointing to a growing knowledge of the virus and the cost to the economy and civil rights. China dismissed the criticism as “irresponsible”.
China was also accused of running a propaganda campaign. Suggesting that the virus was detected elsewhere before the outbreak in Wuhan and aimed at diverting attention from China put forward other theories.
Associated Press investigation finds some top WHO insiders were disappointed with China Even during the initial outbreak, the WHO praised Chinese President Xi Jinping. They were also angry about how China tried to curtail the research. In the origin of COVID-19.
Zhao seems to imply that China will reject any criticism or suspicion of it.
“Research on the origins of the virus should follow scientific principles and not be subject to political interference,” Zhao said.