CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Chinese Ambassador: Will WHO experts be allowed to visit US to trace coronavirus origins?
Published: Feb 08, 2021 09:48 AM

Screenshot of CNN


 
Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said there is a need to trace the origins of the COVID-19 virus all over the world and suggested that World Health Organization (WHO) experts visit the US as part of their work. 

“There have been a number of media reports about early cases in other places in the world. So there's certainly a need for more tracing to be done all over the world in order to really track down the origin of the virus,” Cui said in an interview with Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN Sunday.
 
In response to whether WHO experts will be allowed full access to China, Cui said they have been in Wuhan for quite a few days, asking Zakaria, “My question is, will they be allowed to come here to do the same thing?”

Cui called on the CNN journalist not to politicize the coronavirus origin issue in the interview. 

While answering questions on whether the coronavirus came from Wuhan, Cui said when people make accusations, they have to prove them. 
The WHO expert group is working very hard in Wuhan, and China is very supportive of their work, Cui said. 

“They are looking at the whole pandemic from the point of view of scientists, not politicians. I think people have to be careful not to make groundless accusations,” Cui said.

Last week, several top Chinese scientists through a Global Times report jointly called on the WHO to launch field studies in other countries as they have in Wuhan, especially in the US.

They also called on the US to learn from China by inviting the team to carry out investigations, as Wuhan is just the first stop of such scientific work around the world. 

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin for the third time in one week suggested that WHO experts conduct coronavirus origin tracing in other countries, including the US.

More media reported that COVID-19 occurred in the second half of 2019 in multiple places worldwide, reflecting the necessity and urgency for similar studies, Wang said. 

“We hope that relevant parties, like what China has done, adopt a positive attitude in tracing the origins and invite WHO experts to conduct origin studies, contributing to their efforts on the global fight against the pandemic,” Wang said. 

In an earlier media briefing last week, Wang said, “We hope that following China's example, the US will act in a positive, science-based and cooperative manner on the origin-tracing issue, ensure transparency, and invite WHO experts in for an origin-tracing study.” 

Global Times 
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