CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Chinese leading scientist dismisses claim that WHO experts had difficulty accessing raw information
Published: Mar 31, 2021 06:16 PM
 
Peter Ben Embarek (center), Marion Koopmans (right) and other members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the coronavirus, are seen on a balcony at the Wuhan Hilton Optics Valley Hotel in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province on Monday. Photo: AFP

Peter Ben Embarek (center), Marion Koopmans (right) and other members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the coronavirus, are seen on a balcony at the Wuhan Hilton Optics Valley Hotel in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province on Monday. Photo: AFP



The team leader of the Chinese side of the WHO-China joint expert team, Liang Wannian, shrugged off claims that WHO experts had difficulty accessing raw data during research in Wuhan, saying Chinese experts and their foreign counterparts had done the research together and shared the documents, and that the question of whether the WHO report is extensive or not should be left to scientists to answer. 

Liang said at a Wednesday press conference that it was "unfounded" to say that China did not provide raw information to WHO experts during their four-week mission in Wuhan.

Chinese and foreign experts always stuck to the "four togetherness," meaning they make plans together, undertake field work together, draft the report together, and release publications together, said Liang, noting that experts from the two sides had access to the same data, and different groups of experts were provided with documents that fit their expertise.

Liang made the remarks after the WHO on Tuesday released a joint WHO-China report, while Tedros said on Tuesday the research was "not extensive enough" and that experts had struggled to access raw information during their four-week visit to Wuhan in January.

Liang said some data and information could not be taken away or photographed under Chinese law, but Chinese experts and their foreign counterparts had done the research together. 

To accomplish the arduous task of scientific cooperation and exchange, the Chinese side did its best to collect and collate data and conduct preliminary analysis, to ensure foreign experts could access the same information as their Chinese counterparts. 

Liang said he is not clear how Tedros understood the question of access to raw information, and it should be left to scientists and history to judge whether the raw information that the scientists had access to was extensive or not.

He also said Chinese researchers are willing to cooperate with scientists all over the world to find the real origins of the coronavirus.


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