China commends professionalism and hard work of experts, who took part in compiling the World Health Organization (WHO) report on the origins of the novel coronavirus, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
"China has taken note of the report released by WHO," the statement says. "We commend the Chinese and international experts who have taken part in this joint study for their commitment to science, tireless industry and professionalism."
"Study of origins is a matter of science, which should be jointly conducted by scientists all over the world," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. "We believe the joint WHO-China study will effectively stimulate global cooperation in origin-tracing."
"To politicize this issue will only severely hinder global cooperation in study of origins, jeopardize anti-pandemic cooperation, and cost more lives. It would run counter to the international community's aspiration for solidarity against the virus," it said.
The final report of an international mission of experts on their visit to China in January-February in order to establish the origin of the COVID-19 agent was published on Tuesday. Experts have not reached a definitive conclusion on the origins of COVID-19, TASS reports.
According to the final report published in Geneva on Tuesday, the most likely scenario is the transmission of the coronavirus from one animal to another and then to humans and the least likely one - the laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2.
Shortly after the report was published, a group of 14 nations (the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Israel, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Estonia, South Korea and Japan) expressed their concern about the report, but stopped short of direct criticism.