- Title: China criticises U.S. "scapegoating" as COVID origin report to be released
- Date: 25th August 2021
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (AUGUST 25, 2021) (REUTERS) DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY'S ARMS CONTROL DEPARTMENT, FU CONG, SPEAKING DURING NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY'S ARMS CONTROL DEPARTMENT, FU CONG, SAYING: "First as for the next stage as a priority we do not see the need at this stage to continue with this lab leak hypothesis. But that is only our wish and we can accept any follow up on this hypothesis if the U.S. on the basis of reciprocity agrees that they're going to accept similar visits." JOURNALISTS SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY'S ARMS CONTROL DEPARTMENT, FU CONG, SAYING: "We once again urge the United States not to politicise the whole issue. I would say scapegoating China cannot whitewash the U.S. If the United States persists in hyping up the lab leak theory then they should set an example and invite the WHO to investigate the Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 8th September 2021 12:38
- Keywords: COVID-19 Chinese foreign ministry Fu Cong coronavirus lab virus origins
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001ERS0RPJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: China criticised on Wednesday (August 25) the U.S. "politicization" of efforts to trace the origin of the coronavirus, demanding a U.S. military laboratory be investigated, shortly before the release of a U.S. intelligence community report on the virus.
The U.S. report is intended to resolve disputes among intelligence agencies considering different theories about how the coronavirus emerged, including a once-dismissed theory about a Chinese laboratory accident.
"Scapegoating China cannot whitewash the U.S.," Fu Cong, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' arms control department, told a briefing.
The U.S. report was due to be completed by a Tuesday (August 24) deadline but it would take a few days to prepare an unclassified version for public release, the White House press secretary said this week.
China has said a laboratory leak was highly unlikely, and it has ridiculed a theory that coronavirus escaped from a lab in the city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 infections emerged in late 2019, setting off the pandemic.
China has instead suggested that the virus slipped out of a lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland, in 2019.
A joint WHO-Chinese team visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology but the United States said it had concerns about the access granted to the investigation.
(Production: Wang Shubing, Thomas Suen, Martin Pollard)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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