China said that it supports the review of the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), but only after the pandemic is over. During a press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the review should be conducted in an “open, transparent and inclusive” manner under the leadership of WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Several countries including France and the UK have urged for greater transparency over China’s handling of the virus outbreak while the United States and Australia have demanded an independent investigation into it. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had even said that there is a “significant amount” of evidence that the virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.
Earlier, Hua had said that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a Sino-French cooperation project which followed international standards in its design construction and management. Responding to the allegations of the top US diplomat, she added that not only is it a China-French government cooperation project but the first batch of the staff was also trained at French labs.
China has remained ambivalent over the calls of an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus outbreak after the WHO showed a willingness to participate following 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.
The origin of SARS-CoV-2 is not known but preliminary studies suggested that the bats could be the source since the coronavirus present in bats has a genome that is 96 per cent identical to the novel coronavirus. It is believed that pangolin was the immediate host because the bat coronavirus cannot bind to receptors in human cells, however, there has not been any concrete evidence.