China: Tracing COVID-19 origin a scientific issue

People line up to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus outside a hospital in Beijing on January 5, 2021, following the discovery of new cases of the coronavirus in the city in recent days. (Photo: AFP)

China reiterated on Thursday that tracing the origin of the coronavirus is a serious scientific issue, which should be left to scientists for clarification.

At a regular press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said related scientific research and investigation should be carried out by scientists and experts worldwide so that the world can better handle similar public health crises that might appear in the future.

Hua said the issue shouldn't be used for political purposes, which could only undermine international efforts to trace the virus' origin. All countries should strengthen cooperation and respect science and facts on the issue, she said.