China has voiced strong dissatisfaction to US over the theory that the novel coronavirus may have accidentally leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, according to the country’s state-run media.
China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi on Friday held a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and said that Beijing has actively participated in and supported international anti-epidemic cooperation, and firmly opposed any acts that “use the epidemic as an excuse to slander China and to shift blames.”
“Some people in the United States have fabricated and peddled absurd stories claiming Wuhan lab leak, which China is gravely concerned about,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.
“China urges the United States to respect facts and science, refrain from politicizing COVID-19 origin tracing and concentrate on international anti-pandemic cooperation,” Yang said.
The Wuhan lab leak theory, previously pushed by the administration of former US President Donald Trump, has recently gained renewed attention, with his successor Joe Biden asking the intelligence community to “redouble” its efforts to investigate the source of the virus.
The US State Department, however, in a press statement said Blinken emphasised the need for transparency regarding the origin of the virus.
“Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary stressed the importance of cooperation and transparency regarding the origin of the virus, including the need for WHO Phase 2 expert-led studies in China,” said the Department.