America's call for virus origin probe politically motivated: China
China on Thursday accused the Biden administration of playing politics and shirking its responsibility in calling for a renewed investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic that was first detected in China. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that President Joe Biden's order showed that the US does not care about facts and truth, nor is it interested in serious scientific origin tracing.
China is under pressure to be more open about outbreak
President Biden told the US intelligence officials to redouble their efforts to investigate the origins of the pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory. After months of minimizing the possibility of the virus originating in Wuhan's lab as a fringe theory, the Biden administration is joining worldwide pressure on China to be more open about the outbreak.
Biden has been criticized for not calling out China
The new investigation orders come as President Biden aims to head off Republican complaints that he has not been tough enough to press China on the alleged origin and spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have promoted the theory that the virus emerged from a laboratory rather than naturally through human contact with an infected animal in Wuhan, China.
China asks US to participate in an investigation as well
Meanwhile, Zhao has said that the US must open itself up to investigations into its biological laboratories, including at the military's Fort Detrick base. "The US wants China to participate in a comprehensive, transparent, evidence-based international investigation," Zhao said. "We would like the US to do the same and immediately cooperate with the WHO on origin tracing research in a scientific manner," he added.