A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday refuted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's accusations regarding the WHO COVID-19 origin tracing report, and said that China will never accept groundless accusations and wanton slander on issues regarding the pandemic.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily news briefing when asked to comment on Blinken's latest interview, in which he expressed "concern" over the upcoming final report from the WHO on COVID-19 origin tracing work in China, and claimed that China was helping to write the report.
Zhao said the WHO-China joint expert team had visited nine locations including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and conducted panel discussions with medical staff, scientific researchers, recovered patients, family members of medical staff who died from COVID-19, and ordinary people. All arrangements were made at the request of the WHO experts.
He said the Chinese side also provided original data that required special attention, item by item. The WHO experts have commented positively on the joint research, saying that China's openness was beyond expectation.
The drafting of the report was carried out between experts from both sides and will be concluded through repeated scientific research, said the spokesperson.
"I can't help asking, on issues regarding the pandemic and origin-tracing: When will the United States become as open and transparent as China? When will the United States invite WHO experts to their country for origin tracing? When will Fort Detrick be opened to international experts to conduct investigations and research? Does the United States intend to put pressure on WHO experts by continuously shouting at the outside world?" asked Zhao.
"The United States should ask the WHO experts which part of the report was written with the help of the Chinese government. Does the convenience provided by the Chinese government during the investigation equal behind-the-scenes manipulation?" he added.