Chinese foreign ministry spokesman: International calls for investigation “entirely without factual basis.”
On Monday, China rejected demands for an independent inquiry into Beijing’s handling of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
The growing international calls for an investigation were “entirely without factual basis,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said while dismissing an Australian demand for an “independent international” probe into how the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic started in China.
“The issues around the coronavirus are issues for independent review, and I think that it is important that we do that,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Sunday, “In fact, Australia will absolutely insist on that.”
An impartial inquiry was necessary given concerns “around transparency and ensuring that we are able to engage openly,” she added, referring to Communist China’s track record of silencing the whistleblowers and covering up crucial evidence surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak.
Reuters news agency reported Beijing’s response:
China dismissed as groundless on Monday Australia’s questioning of how Beijing handled the coronavirus pandemic, saying it had been open and transparent, despite growing scepticism about the accuracy of its official death toll.
Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, called for an international investigation into the origins and spread of the virus, joining a chorus of concern over how China tackled the virus that emerged in its central city of Wuhan last year.
Since then the virus has caused nearly 2.4 million infections and more than 160,000 deaths worldwide, paralysing life and business in major cities.
In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman said Payne’s remarks were “entirely without factual basis,” adding that questioning China’s transparency was unfounded and showed a lack of respect for the sacrifices of its people.
“China expresses deep concern and resolute opposition to this,” Geng Shuang told reporters during a daily briefing.
The Australian statement came days after President Donald Trump announced that the United States was investigating whether the life-threatening virus was accidentally released from a high-security laboratory located in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
“We’re looking at it,” President Trump told reporters at a Coronavirus briefing on Friday. “If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake, but if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, I mean, then sure there should be consequences,” he added. Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the Wuhan Coronavirus task force, also joined the President in calling for “proper inquiries into this at the proper time.”
Communist China’s belligerence to an international investigation is understandable. Right at the onset of the outbreak, Beijing has been misleading the world and peddling falsehoods. Aided by the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency, China declared that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission,” as late as mid-January. Last week, Beijing revised the deaths in Wuhan, revealing 50 percent more fatalities than previously declared.
The revision of deaths in Wuhan raises suspicions since it is the epicenter for the contagion. The Central Chinese city is home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a facility known to have been working on bat-borne viruses similar to the coronavirus, which broke out in the area.
The concerns about the Wuhan facility are not new. U.S. diplomats had warned about safety procedures in these labs after visiting the place in January 2018, diplomatic cables show.
With such disturbing evidence stacking up, Beijing is doubling down on its attempts to muddy the waters. Senior officials of the Communist regime are dishing out false narratives and conspiracy theories. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian even accused the U.S. Army of planting the virus in central China.
Meanwhile, the Wuhan virus leaves a trail of human suffering and economic destruction, killing more than 170,000 people worldwide. The pandemic has destroyed livelihoods and crushed businesses across the globe. The outbreak could wipe off $9 trillion worth of global economy, the D.C.-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects. It’s time for the world to tell China to stop playing games and start answering some serious questions about the origins of the contagion.
President Trump questions China’s coronavirus figures
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