While the United States has been signalling towards the possibility of lab originated virus, China highlighted the French connection of the Wuhan’s laboratory. Addressing a media briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a Sino-French cooperation project which followed international standards in its design construction and management.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said that there is a “significant amount” of evidence that the virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Responding to the allegations of the top US diplomat, Hua said that not only is it a China-French government cooperation project but the first batch of the staff was also trained at French labs.
The spokesperson also referred to the US President Donald Trump’s recent remarks where he had said that the virus outbreak has hit America worse than Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II or the 9/11 terror attacks. Hua said that if the pandemic can be compared to pearl harbour or 9/11 attack, the enemy of the US is the novel coronavirus.
“The US should work with China as a comrade in the fight instead of enemy. Because only with the concerted efforts we can win this war against virus," she said.
However, China remained ambivalent over the calls of an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus outbreak after the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed a willingness to get involved at an invitation. WHO had reportedly said that it is hoping to get an invite from China to take part in its investigations, which was apparently backed by China's Permanent Representative to the UN.
Hua said that China has been cooperating with the WHO in an open and transparent manner including tracing the origin. She added that China will reach a conclusion at an appropriate time but it opposes the US and some other countries trying to “politicise this issue” and conduct investigations on the presumption of guilt.
(With PTI inputs | Image: AP)