China demands US labs to be probed for Covid origin

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Our Correspondent
Beijing

China on Wednesday criticised the US “politicisation” of efforts to trace the origin of the coronavirus, demanding that American labs be investigated.

“Scapegoating China cannot whitewash the US,” Fu Cong, director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ arms control department, told a briefing.

China has said a laboratory leak was highly unlikely, and it has ridiculed a theory that the coronavirus escaped from a lab in Wuhan.

Beijing has suggested that the virus slipped out of a lab at the US Army’s Fort Detrick base in Maryland in 2019.

“It is only fair that if the US insists that this is a valid hypothesis, they should do their turn and invite the investigation into their labs,” Fu said. Fu said China was not engaged in a disinformation campaign.

On Wednesday, the Chinese embassy in Washington posted the calls for World Health Organisation (WHO) investigations at Fort Detrick and at the University of North Carolina to its website after it said US media had rejected its editorial submissions.

And on Tuesday, China’s envoy to the United Nations asked the head of the WHO for an investigation into US labs.

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