The COVID-19 origin-tracing was indeed tainted by politics, not by China, but by certain countries including the United States, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks in response to a question on an open letter by 24 scientists and researchers from Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan, which claimed that the WHO-China joint study was tainted by politics with no credible answers about how the pandemic began.
Noting that the open letter was issued just after the release of the WHO report on origin of the virus, and another open letter, written by almost the same group of people, was issued on March 4, which is before the release of the report, Zhao said that the timing revealed their intention of exerting pressure on the WHO and the expert team.
It is more than evident whether their purpose was to provide suggestions to the origin-tracing research in a scientific and professional manner, or to target a country with the presumption of guilt, Zhao said.
"They insist on politicizing the origin-tracing issue, undermining and disrupting cooperation between China and the WHO, attacking and smearing China, and openly challenging scientists' independent and scientific research," he said.
This will undermine the global origin-tracing cooperation and affect global pandemic-fighting efforts, he added.