“This practice of politicizing the search for the origins of the virus is extremely unethical,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
She underlined that the researchers had been granted full access to the data they requested.
The remarks came a dat after the World Health Organization (WHO) chief stressed that “all hypotheses are open” and “warrant complete and further studies.”
In a joint statement, the United States and 13 other countries also voiced concerns that the WHO report on the origins of the novel coronavirus was delayed and lacked access to complete data.
“It is equally essential that we voice our shared concerns that the international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples,” read the joint statement.
While China was not directly mentioned by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus or the joint statement, it responded by saying that it had shown “its openness, transparency and responsible attitude.”
Experts backed by the WHO had already said after visiting Wuhan it was “extremely unlikely” that the deadly virus emerged from a Chines lab.
Former US President Donald Trump had attacked China over its alleged lack of transparency, claiming repeatedly that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been the source of the novel coronavirus.
The Chinese lab origin conspiracy theory was heavily pushed by the Trump administration officials, including former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who claimed last year that the outbreak originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo told ABC News in May, without providing any evidence.