China Slams WHO Report Urging COVID 'Lab Leak' Theory Quiz
China called the theory that the coronavirus pandemic was caused by a leak from a Chinese laboratory a politically motivated lie on Friday, June 10, 2022, after the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a deeper investigation into whether a lab accident was to blame or not.
Photo Insert: Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian also rejected accusations that China had not fully cooperated with investigators.
According to the Associated Press (AP), Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian also rejected accusations that China had not fully cooperated with investigators, saying that China welcomed a scientific investigation but rejected any political manipulation.
He also called for an investigation into "highly suspicious laboratories such as Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina" in the United States, where China has claimed, without evidence, that the US was developing the coronavirus as a bioweapon.
"The lab leak theory is totally a lie concocted by anti-China forces for political purposes, which has nothing to do with science," Zhao said at a daily briefing.
"We always supported and participated in science-based global virus tracing, but we firmly opposed any forms of political manipulation," he said, repeating China's long-standing explanation for delaying or rejecting further investigations into the virus's origins.
WHO experts previously chastised Beijing health officials for withholding information from foreign scientists and preventing them from analyzing blood samples from the virus's first victims.
Zhao said China has made major contributions toward virus tracing, sharing the most data and research results. That "fully reflects China's open, transparent, and responsible attitude, as well as its support for the work of the WHO and the advisory group," he said.
The WHO's stance, revealed in a report released on Thursday, represents a sharp reversal of the UN health agency's initial assessment of the pandemic's origins. It comes after many critics accused WHO of dismissing or downplaying a lab-leak theory that put Chinese officials on the defensive.