2021-May-18 17:52
2021-February-10  14:59

China Calls on US to Invite WHO Experts to Study Origins of Coronavirus

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called on Washington to hold an open, transparent, and scientific attitude and invite experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) to conduct studies on the origins of the novel coronavirus in the United States.

Wang Wenbin, a Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, made the remarks after the US announced it would not accept the WHO-China Mission's findings in Wuhan without independently verifying the findings using its own intelligence, CGTN reported.

Wang stated various researches have indicated that the coronavirus had surfaced in different locations around the world in the second half of 2019.

Virus tracing is a complex scientific issue and should be conducted by global scientists, he stressed.

Wang quoted Liang Wannian, leader of the Chinese side of the China-WHO joint team in Wuhan, as saying that the China-WHO Joint Mission concluded the China-part of the global tracing of the coronavirus.

With the accumulation of factual evidence and the development of a scientific hypothesis, the location for virus tracing will also change, Wang added.

China hopes that relevant countries can hold a scientific attitude to conduct studies on the coronavirus' origin and share their findings, he continued.

A member of the WHO mission to China for the joint research also took a swipe Wednesday at US intelligence on the issue, after the US State Department cast doubt on the transparency of the research.

US President Joe Biden "has to look tough on China", expert Peter Daszak said in a tweet as the mission ended, adding, "Please don't rely too much on US intel: increasingly disengaged under [Donald] Trump & frankly wrong on many aspects."

The discovery of the novel coronavirus' viral sequence suggests the virus originated from the zoonotic transmission, but the host is yet to be identified, Wannian stated on Tuesday.

Liang made the remarks after the China-WHO Joint Mission, which consists of 17 Chinese experts and 17 experts from 10 other countries, concluded the China-part study on the origin of the coronavirus.

In previous studies, scientists have found that the coronaviruses in bats and pangolins have very similar genetic sequences with the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused COVID-19. 

But the similarity is not enough to prove that bats and pangolins are the direct hosts of the novel coronavirus, according to Liang.

He mentioned animals such as minks and cats are highly susceptible to the novel coronavirus, suggesting that these species could all be the potential natural hosts.