China rejects Australia’s call for probe into virus response

China rejects Australia’s call for a probe examining the global response to the coronavirus pandemic — including Beijing’s early handling of the outbreak.

Washington and several allies have accused China of failing to adequately respond to the viral disease threat in the weeks after it was first detected in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says the accusations disrespect “the Chinese people’s tremendous efforts and sacrifices” in fighting the contagion.

“Any question about China’s transparency in the prevention and control of epidemic situation is not in line with facts,” Geng tells a regular press briefing in response to a question about Australian foreign minister Marise Payne, who a day earlier said her country would “insist” on the probe into the response by Beijing and the WHO.


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