'Political game': China on US Prez Biden's order to probe into Covid-19 origins
In a sharp rebuke to the United States, China has lamented US President Joe Biden's order to review the origins of Covid-19 as a "political game and an attempt to shift the blame on others".
"Virus origins is a complex scientific question. This time, the United States is trying to let intelligence services draw scientific conclusions. This only shows that the US is not interested in the truth, it does not want any scientific research, this is just a political game, an attempt to shift the blame on others," Chinese spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a briefing on Friday.
US President Biden on Wednesday said he has asked the US intelligence community to "redouble their efforts" to come to a conclusion on the origins of Covid-19 and report back to him within 90 days, Sputnik reported.
This comes amid growing calls for a fuller probe on whether the Covid-19 virus may have escaped from a Wuhan lab.
In response, the Chinese Embassy in the US issued a statement on Thursday. Without naming any country, a spokesperson said "some people have played the old trick of political hype on the origin tracing of Covid-19 in the world".
"Since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year, some political forces have been fixated on political manipulation and blame game," the statement said.
A few days back, an explosive report by Wall Street Journal had stated that three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital care after they fell ill in November 2019, a month before Beijing reported the first patient with Covid-like symptoms.
"The US government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses," the report read, fueling debate of the lab leak theory.
Meanwhile, addressing the World Health Organization's main annual meeting of member states, the United States and other countries called on Tuesday for a more in-depth investigation of the pandemic origins after an international mission to China earlier this year proved inconclusive.
Australia, Japan and Portugal were among other countries to call for more progress on the investigation, while the British representative urged for any probe to be "timely, expert-driven and grounded in robust science".