China on Friday claimed that the coronavirus broke out in the various parts of the world last year but it was the only one to have reported and acted first, refuting the widely-held view that the deadly contagion originated in Wuhan before turning out to be a pandemic.
China, besides denying the US allegations that COVID-19 has emerged from a bio-lab in Wuhan, also rejected that it emanated from a wet market in the central Chinese city from bats or pangolins before infecting humans.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing that "the coronavirus is a new kind of virus as more and more facts emerge as reports reveal, we all know that the epidemic broke out in various places in the world at the end of last year, while China was the first to report the outbreak, identified the pathogen and shared the genome sequence with the world."
Hua's comments came in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's allegations of a cover-up by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
The coronavirus crisis was infinitely made worse by the Chinese Communist Party's cover-up, Pompeo had said in Tokyo at the QUAD ministerial meeting of the US, India, Australia, and Japan on Tuesday.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry statement was made as the World Health Organisation (WHO) was gearing up to probe the origin of the deadly coronavirus.
According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the contagion has infected over 36 million people and killed more than 1 million across the world.
The US is the worst affected country with over 7.6 million cases and more than 2,12,000 deaths.
China has reported 90,736 cases and 4,739 deaths due to COVID-19.
The WHO has given to Beijing a list of global experts to be sent to China to probe the origin of the coronavirus, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Thursday. The WHO is awaiting its approval.
In May, the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the Geneva-based WHO's decision-making body currently headed by India, passed a unanimous resolution to probe the origin of the virus. China also backed the resolution.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine