China Warns Of ‘Manipulation’ Of WHO Virus Probe

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FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2021, file photo, a worker in protective coverings directs members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team on their arrival at the airport in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday, Oct. 14, warned against what it called possible “political manipulation” of a renewed probe by the World Health Organization into the origins of the coronavirus, while saying it would support the international body's efforts.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

BEIJING — China’s Foreign Ministry has warned against what it calls possible “political manipulation” of a renewed probe by the World Health Organization into the origins of the coronavirus.

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Foreign Ministry spoksperson Zhao Lijian said China would “continue to support and participate in global scientific tracing and firmly oppose any forms of political manipulation.”

The WHO on Wednesday released a proposed list of 25 experts to advise it on next steps in the search for the virus’ origins after its earlier efforts were attacked for going easy on China.

The first human cases of coronavirus infections were detected in central China in late 2019. Beijing was accused of withholding raw data on early cases during a visit by a WHO team in February.

The findings of the original WHO team were inconclusive, and the experts released a report saying it was “extremely unlikely” the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan lab. That prompted criticism from outside scientists that the theory had not been properly vetted.


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