BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Slanders and accusations on others will not drive viruses away, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Thursday.
The remarks came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said in an interview that the novel coronavirus began in China's Wuhan.
"China was the first country to report the outbreak of COVID-19 to the World Health Organization (WHO), but it does not mean that COVID-19 originated from Wuhan," spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a press briefing, adding that pandemics can break out first in any region, country or city in the world, but where they originate is a serious scientific question that should be left to scientists and medical experts.
Wuhan on Wednesday reopened after a 76-day lockdown, which enhanced the resolve of all countries to fight the virus. More and more people have found China's response effective, and China's experience is worth learning from. Any responsible country will firmly oppose the irrational practice of labeling the virus, Zhao said.
"There is no basis for accusing China's cover-up and lack of transparency," Zhao noted, adding that since COVID-19 broke out, China notified the WHO of the epidemic, shared the genome sequencing of the virus and carried out international cooperation, all at the earliest time possible, which had won positive comments from the international community.
The U.S. side has access to information and data on the epidemic from China, Zhao noted, adding that "As for whether the U.S. side has made full and effective use of the precious time and important information that China has won and whether it has taken timely measures to prevent and control the virus, I believe time will tell."
Stressing "stigmatizing China is unpopular," Zhao said under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, great achievements have been made in China's fight against the epidemic. "We hope the American people can also overcome the epidemic as soon as possible and resist the blinkered approach of individual politicians who politicize the epidemic and stigmatize China to shift the blame."