China's embassy in Washington has accused US intelligence agencies of "wrongly" claiming that Beijing continued to hinder the investigation into the origins of Covid-19 and added that "a report fabricated by the US intelligence community is not scientifically credible."
"The origin-tracing is a matter of science; it should and can only be left to scientists, not intelligence experts," the embassy said in a statement, hours after the release of a declassified summary of the report.
The embassy charged that the report was aimed at "scapegoating China," an approach that would "disturb and sabotage international cooperation on origin-tracing and on fighting the pandemic."
The statement also said that Washington "has been shying away from tracing the origin in the United States and closing the door on any such possibility."
China has ridiculed a theory that coronavirus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, the city where Covid-19 infections emerged in late 2019, setting off the pandemic, and has pushed other theories including that it slipped out of a lab at the US Army's Fort Detrick base in Maryland in 2019.
The embassy statement suggested the United States should invite World Health Organisation experts to Fort Detrick to investigate.
US officials said in the summary that the US intelligence community does not believe it can resolve a debate over whether a laboratory incident was the source of Covid-19 without more information.
They said that only China can help solve questions about the true origins of the virus that has now killed 4.6 million people worldwide. "China's cooperation most likely would be needed to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of Covid-19," they said.
US President Joe Biden, who received a classified report this week summarising the investigation he ordered, said Washington and its allies will continue to press China for answers. (Reuters)
Chinese embassy says US Covid probe 'not credible'
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