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China values Russia’s objective stance on novel coronavirus origin — Foreign Ministry

On April 22, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed the US accusations that China purportedly concocted COVID-19 in a lab as groundless

BEIJING, April 23. The Chinese government values Russia’s stance on the origin of the novel coronavirus, finding it objective and fair, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said during Thursday’s briefing, commenting on the statement by Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in which he said that Russia finds it unacceptable to make unfounded accusations regarding an artificial source of this virus.

"Russia has taken on an objective, fair, scientific and rational stance on the origin of the virus. We value this," the diplomat said.

"The origin of the virus is a scientific matter, which should be tackled by scientists and medical experts. Any attempts to politicize this issue or to shift responsibility are unacceptable," Geng Shuang stressed.

US politicians have repeatedly accused China of artificially creating the novel coronavirus and covering up the origin of the virus. On April 22, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed these accusations as groundless. "We believe it is unacceptable and inadmissible to resort to any unfounded accusations aimed at anybody," he noted. Peskov stressed that Russian specialists are keeping in contact with the Chinese side and exchanging information. "The Chinese are working on their vaccines, we have processes moving forward in various spheres. Overall, the situation requires international cooperation," the spokesman added.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,600,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 184,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 723,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.