China rejects new US investigation into origin of coronavirus

Beijing, China – China rejected President Joe Biden's order for a new investigation by US intelligence agencies into the origins of the coronavirus, accusing the US of trying to politicize the search.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the coronavirus may have originated in a US lab.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the coronavirus may have originated in a US lab.  © IMAGO / Kyodo News

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Thursday accused the US of trying to pin the blame for the pandemic on China and defended his country against suspicions that the coronavirus may have escaped from a Chinese laboratory following an accident.

He stressed that World Health Organization (WHO) experts had concluded in February that a leak from a lab was "extremely unlikely" after they had conducted investigations in the central city of Wuhan.

"Some people in the US are turning a blind eye to the facts," Zhao said, adding that they are trying to distract from their own "incompetent response" to the pandemic.

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He also suggested that the coronavirus could have originated from a US military laboratory.

"There are many doubts about [the lab] at Fort Detrick – and the US has more than 200 biological laboratories in the world," he said.

If the US asked China to participate in a full investigation, he said, China in turn would ask the US to follow China's lead and allow international investigations.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Kyodo News

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