Chinese Embassy in the US said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden's move to investigate the origins of Covid-19 would hamper anti-COVID initiatives.
In a statement posted on its website, the embassy said, "Some political forces have been fixated on political manipulation and [the] blame game." They added that politicising the origins of Covid-19 would hinder further investigations.
Biden on Wednesday ordered a probe into the emergence of the virus after allegations that the SARS-CoV-2 was leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan that specialised in coronavirus research. He called on intelligence agencies to present a report within three months to clarify whether the virus was animal-borne or lab-made.
Yanzhong Huang, a senior global health official with the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, stated that China's reluctance to cooperate with investigations was a major reason behind the lab leak theory. "In the investigation of the origins of the pandemic, it is really important to have transparency in order to build trust in the investigation results," said Huang.
The Chinese embassy said that it supports a comprehensive study of all early cases of COVID-19 found worldwide and a thorough investigation into some secretive bases and biological laboratories all over the world. The country has repeatedly shut off the lab theory, claiming that other countries, including the United States, are making an attempting to divert from their inability to contain the virus.
A pro-government local tabloid 'The Global Times' remarked that the US should also allow investigators into its own facilities, including the lab at Fort Detrick, if the "lab leak theory" is to be further investigated.
A WHO-led study in March had concluded that it was extremely unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from the lab, adding that it is more likely that the virus spread from bats to humans through an unidentified intermediary species.
Chinese experts assert that Covid-19 may have originated in another country and entered via infected frozen food or through southeast China wildlife trade networks.
"The pandemic started in China. Let's start with a full investigation there and expand as necessary. In short, this (statement from the embassy) is an outrageous insult to every person who has died from this terrible tragedy and their families," said Jamie Metzl, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, adding that China is trying to internationalise the issue for their way out.
"Ideally, you want China to be more cooperative and more transparent. But now the issue has become so politicised, with the stakes of the investigation so high," Huang added.