China accused the U.S. of pressuring the authors of the report on the origin of COVID-19

The US authorities are trying to put pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) and the authors of the report on the origin of the coronavirus. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said this on Monday, March 29.

“China does not accept endless accusations from the U.S. and attempts to smear the PRC on pandemic control <...> By making such statements, the U.S. wants to put pressure on the WHO expert group. I would like to ask then, what part of the report was written by the Chinese government? Are the PRC authorities trying to manipulate by providing all the conditions for collaborative research?” – he said during the briefing.

Lijian also wondered when Washington will become “as open and transparent” about finding the source of the coronavirus as Beijing, and asked about the possibility of inviting WHO experts to conduct checks in the United States.

Earlier, on March 26, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken indicated that the country was waiting with some concern for the publication of the WHO report on COVID-19 because Chinese authorities were allegedly involved in preparing the document.

On March 22, the WHO said it would publish a report stating that the coronavirus may be similar in origin to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome. Its carriers were bats, it passed to humans through the Himalayan civets. At the same time, experts of the organization called the trade of animals in China a possible cause of the coronavirus.

WHO experts have developed four main hypotheses on the possible origin of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The researchers also doubt the artificial origin of the coronavirus and its leakage from the laboratory.

WHO experts arrived in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Jan. 14 and spent two weeks in quarantine. During that time, they consulted with Chinese experts via video link. On 31 January, a team of WHO experts visited the Wuhan market. On February 7, the specialists announced their first findings, noting that they had found “important clues” at the market that would help with further investigation.