Chinese Foreign Minister said that it was premature to immediately launch a probe into the origins of coronavirus that has claimed over 316,000 lives worldwide. During a daily press briefing, Foreign Ministery spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the vast majority of the countries believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet.
Zhao’s comment came after a draft resolution seeking an independent probe into the coronavirus pandemic gained overwhelming support from more than 100 countries. Foreign Ministry’s statement was echoed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the opening ceremony of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly on May 18.
Xi said that China supports a comprehensive review of the global response to the pandemic led by the UN health agency but only after the coronavirus is brought under control. The 66-year-old leader asserted that China has been open and transparent about the virus outbreak from the beginning and will support a probe if it is conducted in an objective and impartial manner.
The draft calls for "impartial, independent and comprehensive" probe into the COVID-19 crisis and an inquiry into the actions of the WHO and “timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic”. WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also welcomed the proposed resolution saying such evaluation must encompass the entirety of the response by all actors, in good faith.
The Chinese leader also pledged that any COVID-19 vaccine developed in the country will be made “global public good” as Beijing’s contribution to the pandemic response. He added that Beijing will work with the United Nations to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China.
(Picture credit: AP)