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The United States is once again playing its old trick of smearing China, after China rejected the proposal of the World Health Organization (WHO) on its second phase of the study to trace the origins of COVID-19.

Rather than helping trace the origins of the virus, the United States is actually misleading the origin-tracing work deliberately. Showing no respect to science and facts, the United States blatantly seeks presumption of guilt and political manipulation.

Such malicious speculation reveals its arrogance towards science and also its sinister intention to suppress China under the pretext of origin-tracing.

At a time when the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is still grim, Washington's rhetoric and actions of inciting conflict and separation not only undermine international cooperation in the global COVID-19 fight but are also highly irresponsible regarding the scientific study of COVID-19.

China's rejection is reasonable. China has always maintained an open and transparent attitude on the origin-tracing issue and has invited WHO experts to China twice. The WHO-China joint mission report clearly concluded that lab leak is extremely unlikely, and there is a broad consensus in the international scientific community to this end.

Regrettably, this work plan still lists the hypothesis that "a Chinese violation of laboratory protocols had caused the virus to leak during research" as a research priority, and deliberately ignores important research directions including the early cases worldwide and cold-chain transmission of the virus.

In face of such a work plan that was heavily disrupted by politicization, lost scientific principles and lacked a spirit of cooperation, China has every reason to reject.

For quite some time, there have been more and more reports of COVID-19 cases registered in different places across the globe in the second half of the year 2019. In the United States alone, COVID-19 infections in at least five states were identified earlier than the first reported confirmed case in the country.

These evidence have well demonstrated that the origin-tracing of COVID-19 is a complex and scientific issue and should be carried out by international scientists based on a global perspective.

However, some people in the United States ignore science and facts, hype up the so-called lab leak theory, put politics above science and place personal interest above people's lives and health. This is also an important reason why Washington has been weak in its response to the epidemic.

Behind Washington's claimed support to the so-called "investigation" lies its ulterior motive to stigmatize China.

In fact, the investigation of the origin, spread and evolution of the rampant coronavirus is a convoluted research subject for the global scientific community, and a time-consuming process that requires numerous biological information and epidemiological evidence.

Previous studies have revealed that the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Brazil and some other countries showed signs of the virus and infections earlier than the first case in Wuhan.

However, disregarding these facts, the United States has put all its attention on China, with a blatant aim to divert responsibility for its own failure in fighting the pandemic by smearing others.

Encouragingly, such politicization of virus origin-tracing is unpopular around the world. Up till now, nearly 60 countries sent letters to the WHO, agreeing with the results of the first phase of origin-tracing research and opposing the attempt to politicize the study of the origins.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said Finland advocates that origin-tracing should be conducted scientifically.

The purpose of the origin-tracing is to be better prepared for future circumstances, instead of targeting or blaming specific countries, Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said, adding Portugal advocates conducting the origin-tracing in a scientific and professional spirit and does not support any act of politicizing the origin-tracing or the WHO's work.

Upholding the spirit of openness, transparency, science and cooperation, China is willing to continue supporting and participating in global origin-tracing cooperation, but no political interference can be tolerated in the process.

Having returned to the WHO, the United States should commit itself to the global cooperation against the pandemic, rather than using the platform to continue spreading various political viruses.

Stigmatizing others and politicizing the origin-tracing will only meet with resolute opposition from the international community, and such acts are doomed to fail.

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