CHINA COVID-19 origin tracing should be based on science, global consensus: Chinese envoy


COVID-19 origin tracing should be based on science, global consensus: Chinese envoy


19:40, August 13, 2021

File photo: CFP

MOGADISHU, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- China is committed to an impartial, science and consensus-based probe into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, an envoy said during a press conference on Thursday.

Feng Qinghu, Charge d'Affaires and councilor of the Chinese Embassy in Somalia, told journalists in Mogadishu that Beijing will rally behind the origin tracing of the virus that is objective and driven by a desire to avert future public health crises.

He noted that China has taken the lead in collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) on global origin tracing and has twice invited WHO experts to China for origin-tracing research, and the international expert team has had numerous online and email exchanges with their Chinese counterparts.

According to Feng, WHO-China joint origin tracing report confirmed the pathway of laboratory incident as "extremely unlikely," adding that it was a scientific and objective conclusion reached by international and Chinese experts.

"China firmly opposes a new round of study on the hypothesis of laboratory incident as the main content, and rejects any new round of politicized and pressured origin-tracing study in China," said Feng.

He refuted accusations from a certain western country on the origins of the virus, terming them as groundless and aimed at diverting attention from its lackluster performance in the pandemic control.

"The purpose of the foregoing actions is self-evident, that is, aiming at obstructing cooperation on global origin tracing, deflecting responsibility for its poor COVID-19 response at home, and using this as an opportunity to defame and blame China," said Feng.

He regretted that the atmosphere for global cooperation has been poisoned severely by a barrage of misinformation and myths on the origin of the virus, adding that China is committed to its containment globally.

Feng said that China will not waver in its support for scientists-led probe into the virus origin as opposed to politicians and intelligence officials from countries with a partisan agenda.

He said that recommendations by a joint team of experts from WHO and China on the need for the future probe on the origin of the virus to focus on multiple countries and regions should be upheld since it was based on sound science.

Feng reiterated that the overarching objective of the virus origin tracing was to understand the mode of its transmission and avert future risks hence the need for mutual trust and sincerity among all parties concerned.

"Origin tracing should be based on equal-footed exchange, mutual trust and candid and sincere cooperation among relevant parties," said Feng.

It should not be a one-way investigation imposed by one side on another, still less should it be based on the presumption of guilt or any predetermined conclusions," he added.

Feng said that besides rallying behind an impartial and scientific investigation into the virus origin, China will also scale up support for its containment globally through vaccine donation.

He noted that China has agreed to provide 2 billion vaccine doses to the world, besides donating 100 million U.S. dollars to the COVAX facility for distributing the life-saving commodity to developing countries.

China is committed to advancing international vaccine cooperation in order to hasten its containment, said Feng.

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