Chinese Embassy Spokesperson's Responding to Australian Senior Official's remarks on the Origins Study of COVID-19

In response to Australian senior official’s remarks on the origins study of COVID-19 during an interview on 27 July, we would like to make the following points.

China has always taken a scientific, professional, serious and responsible attitude in tracing the origins of the virus. Since last year, we have invited WHO experts to China twice to carry out origins study. Earlier this year, authoritative international experts from 10 countries including Australia formed a joint expert group with their Chinese counterparts. They conducted a 28-day joint research in China, which has delivered positive results. On March 30, the WHO officially released the report of the WHO-convened global study of origins of SARS-CoV-2: China Part. The formulation of the report follows WHO procedures and adopts a scientific approach. It is authoritative and science-based and has been widely recognized and respected by the international community. China’s open and transparent attitude on tracing the origins of the virus has also been fully recognized by international experts.

Recently, 60 countries have written to the WHO Director-General Tedros or spoken up individually to stress that tracing the origins of the virus is a scientific matter and should not be politicized, and the joint WHO-China study report released by the WHO should be upheld. It is our belief that the second phase of origin studies should be based on the above-mentioned report and should not repeat what has already been conducted during the first phase, especially where conclusive findings were already reached. The key focus of the second phase should be on possible pathways including introduction through an intermediate host. In the meantime efforts should be made to advance traceability research in various countries and regions across the world. Research in epidemiology, animal products, environmental and molecular epidemiology should be continued to reinforce.

For some time, a handful of countries, while blatantly disregarding the achievements scientists made together and turning a blind eye to science and truth for their own selfish interests, have been stigmatizing the epidemic, putting a geographical label on the virus and politicizing the origins study.

These actions have seriously disrupted and undermined international cooperation in global origins study. We urge relevant parties to stop politicizing the issue of the origins study. They should adopt a truly responsible and scientific attitude, and work with the international community to make due contributions to defeating the virus and protecting people’s health and well-being.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of Australia
Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Tel: 0061-2-62283999, Fax: 0061-2-62283836
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