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China calls for greater transparency from US over coronavirus source-tracing

CHINA has called for greater transparency on coronavirus from the US, urging it to invite the World Health Organisation (WHO) to carry out research into its novel coronavirus source-tracing.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that close co-operation with the global body was essential in tackling the spread of the disease.

His remarks came as the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that Covid-19 antibodies had been found in routine blood samples from December 2019.

This means that coronavirus may have occurred in the US before its first official case was recorded on January 21 2020, Mr Wang said.

“It is hoped that the US side will adopt a positive, scientific, co-operative attitude and maintain transparency on the virus source-tracing issue, as China has done, and invite WHO experts to carry out source-tracing research in the US,” he told a press briefing.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said China’s relationship with WHO officials lacks transparency.

But Mr Wang said that Beijing has maintained close communication and co-operation with the WHO in an open and transparent manner. 

“Chinese experts have shared a large amount of information and research results with their counterparts and conducted several rounds of in-depth exchanges on scientific issues of common concern. WHO and international experts made positive comments on this," he said.

Former US president Donald Trump was a fierce critic of the WHO, insisting that it was repeating Chinese Communist Party propaganda.

The US withdrew from the organisation in July 2020, promising to reallocate funding elsewhere, despite warnings that the move would damage the co-ordinated international response to the pandemic.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order reversing the decision on taking office last month.

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