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China warns against ‘political manipulation’ of WHO virus origin probe

BEIJING: China on Thursday warned against “political manipulation” of the fresh investigation by the World Health Organisation.

This comes a day after WHO announced a launch of an expert group to study the origins of COVID-19.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “China will continue to support and participate in global scientific origins-tracing and firmly oppose any form of political manipulation.”

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“We hope that all parties concerned, including the WHO Secretariat and SAGO will adopt an objective, scientific and responsible attitude, follow the requirements and relevant mandates of the WHA resolution, take the first phase of the joint study as the basis, adhere to a global perspective, perform their duties in an objective and fair manner, and truly make a positive contribution to global origins-tracing and anti-epidemic cooperation,” he added.

A WHO-led team of scientists that travelled to China in early 2021 to investigate the origins of the virus struggled to get a clear picture of what research China was conducting beforehand, faced constraints during its visit, and had little power to conduct thorough and impartial research.

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