The United States' attempts to politicize the COVID-19 origins study have seriously undermined international cooperation and created difficulties and obstacles for fighting the virus and saving lives worldwide, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks in response to recent comments by Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, that the whole process of origin tracing is being poisoned by politics.
China has always believed that the study of COVID-19 origins is a scientific issue that should not be politicized, said Wang.
"Unfortunately, for some time, we have seen rhetoric and actions that stigmatize and label the virus, use study of origins to shift the blame to specific countries, wantonly criticize WHO experts on the study, and even draw on intelligence apparatus rather than rely on scientists to lead investigations," he said.
"We stand for a scientists-led study of origins featuring solidarity and cooperation, not an intelligence-led investigation stoking confrontation and sowing division. The process should not be dictated by any country's will," he said.
Upholding the principle of openness, transparency and cooperation, China has twice invited WHO experts in for joint study of origins.
"As the study of origins involve many countries and localities across the world, we call on other countries to follow our example and invite WHO experts in for similar studies to address international concerns," Wang said.
"We urge a handful of countries including the United States to immediately halt their politicization and stop sabotaging international cooperation in origins study for hidden political agenda," he added.