China won't allow COVID-19 source probe before 'final victory'

11:22 PM | 6 May, 2020
China won't allow COVID-19 source probe before 'final victory'
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GENEVA – China will not invite international experts to investigate the source of COVID-19 until after securing the "final victory" over the virus, Beijing's UN ambassador in Geneva said Wednesday.

China's priority is first beating the pandemic -- and secondly countering the "absurd and ridiculous" US politicisation of the new coronavirus, Chen Xu told reporters in an online briefing.

Asked when the WHO could expect an invitation, Chen replied: "The top priority, for the time being, is to focus on the fight against the pandemic until we win the final victory.

"It's not that we are allergic to any kind of investigations, inquiries or evaluations," he said, as they could aid international efforts to prepare for future public health emergencies.

"For whether or how the invitation will take place, we need to have the right priority setting at this moment, and on the other hand, we need the right atmosphere."Chen said the atmosphere had been soured by "politically-motivated" accusations against China, "smearing, demonising" its handling of the initial outbreak.

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