China cannot accept the current plan for a second phase investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 virus proposed by the World Health Organization, as the plan has been compromised by political manipulation and disrespect of scientific facts, Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission, said at a news conference on Thursday.
Zeng said the plan has listed the hypothesis that China had violated lab regulations and leaked the virus as one of the major research objectives, which left him "very shocked" after reading the proposal.
Zeng said Chinese experts have voiced their concerns and suggestions for improving the investigation plan to the WHO.
"We hope the WHO can carefully consider the advice by Chinese scientists, take investigating the origin of the COVID-19 virus as a scientific question free from political interference, and proactively and properly conduct sustained investigations into the origin of the virus in various countries across the world," he said.
Experts attending the news conference also called for the international scientific community to conduct multifaceted, dynamic, and wide-ranging investigations around the world on the origins of the COVID-19 virus, and not limit their options to a couple of hypotheses and destinations.