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Coronavirus

China Supports an Eventual Review of the Global Response to COVID-19

BEIJING — China supports an eventual review of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, but not an immediate probe as Australia and others have proposed.

China had long rejected the idea of an investigation into the origins and response to the pandemic but its attitude appeared to soften at the World Health Assembly on Monday.

On Tuesday, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Chinese would agree to a probe “after the global epidemic is under control, summing up experience and making up for deficiencies.” The U.N.’s World Health Association should lead that work with a “scientific and professional attitude … in the principle of objectivity and fairness,” he said, rejecting Australia’s call for an independent body to launch the inquiry following complaints that the WHO has shown favoritism toward China.

“Finally, I want to emphasize that we welcome the Australian side to, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the World Health Assembly, change its course, completely abandon political manipulation and return to the general consensus of the international community,” Zhao said.

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