Asia

China warns against ‘manipulation’ of WHO COVID-19 virus probe


BEIJING: China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday (Oct 14) warned against what it called possible “political manipulation” of a renewed probe by the World Health Organization into the origins of the coronavirus, while saying it would support the international body’s efforts.

The WHO on Wednesday released a proposed list of 25 experts to advise it on the next steps in the search for the virus’ origins after its earlier efforts were attacked for going too easy on China, where the first human cases were detected in late 2019.

Beijing was accused of withholding raw data on early cases during a visit by a WHO team in February and has since resisted calls for further investigation, saying the US and others were politicising the matter.

Foreign Ministry spoksperson Zhao Lijian said China would “continue to support and participate in global scientific tracing and firmly oppose any forms of political manipulation”.

“We hope that all parties concerned, including the WHO secretariat and the advisory group, will effectively uphold an objective and responsible scientific attitude,” Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.

The experts proposed by the UN health agency include some who were on the original team that went to the central Chinese city of Wuhan to investigate the origins of COVID-19.



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