China backed calls for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak, but only after the pandemic is under control, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday. Addressing a virtual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, Xi said China supports a “comprehensive evaluation” of the global response to the pandemic, after it “has been brought under control.
A European Union-drafted resolution calling for a probe into both how the pandemic began as well as the responses to it is expected to gain approval this week. Australia has been among the most vocal proponents of such an investigation, and Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Monday it wants the effort to be “impartial, independent and comprehensive.”
“We’re very encouraged by the growing levels of support for this comprehensive World Health Assembly motion,” she said.
The novel coronavirus was first publicly identified in China in late December and has spread around world, killing more than 315,000 people and infecting at least 4.7 million.
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