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Spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the EU Speaks on a Question Concerning the Statement of Officials from the EU, the US, Australia and Japan on the Second Phase of COVID-19 Origins Study
2021/07/28

Q: On 27 July, the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, together with science officials and advisers from Australia, the United States and Japan, issued a joint statement in support of the second phase of the WHO-led COVID-19 origins study. What is your response?

A: The virus is the common enemy of mankind, and the only way to defeat it is to pull together with solidarity and cooperation. We firmly oppose the practice of political manipulation in the name of open and transparent scientific study. Stigmatizing the epidemic, putting a geographical label on the virus and politicizing the origins study have seriously disrupted and undermined international cooperation on origins study, and created great difficulties and obstacles for countries to fight the virus and save lives. Such practices must be rejected.

China has always taken a scientific, professional, serious and responsible attitude in tracing the origins of the virus. Since last year, China has twice invited WHO experts to China for origins tracing. In particular earlier this year, leading experts from 10 countries and their Chinese counterparts formed a joint expert team. They conducted a 28-day joint research in China and issued a joint report. The formulation of the report follows WHO procedures and adopts a scientific approach. It is authoritative and science-based and has been widely recognized and respected by the international community. It has laid a good foundation for advancing global origins tracing.

Recently, nearly 60 countries have written to WHO Director-General or spoken up individually on the issue of origins study. They emphasized that it is a matter of science that should be studied around the world by scientists. They also stressed that origins tracing should not be politicized and that the joint WHO-China study report released by WHO should be upheld. These objective and rational voices should be respected and valued.

We urge relevant parties to stop politicizing the issue of origins tracing, stop using this issue to scapegoat others and shirk responsibility, and stop deliberately disrupting international cooperation on global origins tracing. They should adopt a truly responsible and scientific attitude, and work with the international community to make due contributions to defeating the virus and protecting people’s health and well-being.

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