BEIJING (Sputnik) – The Chinese paper Global Times has reported that the U.S. is running a campaign “to smear China as the source of the coronavirus”.
The newspaper also accused Washington of “feeding the media with fabricated evidence”, suggesting that the World Health Organization (WHO) has been put under pressure by the U.S. and its allies.
The accusations come a week after China refused to collaborate with the UN health body on a second probe into the origins of COVID-19, arguing that the initial WHO-led inquiry in March was sufficient and that Beijing prefers scientific to political efforts to deal with the issue.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu underscored that “the conclusions and recommendations” of a joint report by the WHO and China were recognized by both the international and scientific communities.
Ma argued that “future global traceability work should and can only be further carried out on the basis of this report, rather than starting a new one”.
In the document, the WHO concluded that the possibility of the virus having leaked from a state laboratory in Wuhan’s Institute of Virology (WIV) was “extremely unlikely”. The UN body’s experts claimed there was a high possibility that the virus was transmitted to humans from bats via another animal.
China’s National Health Commission, for its part, stressed that Beijing perceives the WHO’s criteria for the second phase of the investigation into the origins of the coronavirus as insulting and will not follow them.
“Scientists have reached a consensus that COVID-19 is of a natural origin. Experts have published a statement saying that there is no evidence of the artificial origin of COVID-19 and its leak from the laboratory”, the commission’s representative told reporters.
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson also said Beijing hopes the United States will stop political manipulation on the issue of COVID-19 origins tracing and stop poisoning international cooperation against the pandemic.
Hua Chunying made the remarks in response to reports that the U.S. government is using vaccine aid as a bait to coerce China’s neighboring countries to participate in its campaign to smear Beijing as the “source of the coronavirus” and drive a wedge between China and its neighbors.
The spokesperson said when China was overcoming difficulties to produce and provide anti-pandemic materials to countries in need, the United States was busy buying out and hoarding anti-pandemic materials all over the world.
“When China first announced and is taking a lead in implementing the pledge of making vaccines a global public good and has up to date provided more than 800 million doses of vaccines to the world, the United States has been practicing “America First” and “vaccine nationalism,” she added.