Washington: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Beijing should be transparent about the COVID-19 outbreak and there is a need for “accountability”.
Blinken said, “there needed to be accountability” but didn’t elaborate on what measures needed to be taken while echoed calls from other Biden officials for “Beijing to be transparent about the 2019 outbreak”, CNN reported citing sources.
The US diplomat said that the focus should be on building stronger systems for future pandemics.
“I think the issue for us is to make sure that we do everything possible to prevent another pandemic, even as we’re working through this one, or at the very least to make sure that we can mitigate in much more effective ways any damage done if something happens in the future,” Blinken said on “State of the Union.”
“And a big part of that is making sure that we have a system in place, including with the World Health Organization, that features transparency, that features information-sharing, and features access for international experts at the start of something like this, ” he added while pointing out access of international experts to Wuhan lab.
Blinken previously accused China of not meeting international obligations to provide information about the origins of the virus that has resulted in the deaths of millions of people worldwide, including nearly 550,000 in the U.S.
According to CNN, the US State Secretary expressed concern “about the methodology and the process” behind a forthcoming WHO report into the origins of the deadly plague, “including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it,” he said, but added, “let’s see what comes out in that report.” The WHO fact-finding team that traveled to Wuhan — where Covid-19 originated — said it was not given access to raw data on the disease, read CNN.
Blinken, who spoke from Brussels after meeting with NATO and European Union officials, emphasized the importance of the US working with allies on issues posed by China.
“There are clear and increasingly adversarial aspects of the relationship. There are certainly competitive ones. There are also still some cooperative ones,” Blinken said about American relations with China.
“But the common denominator is the need to approach China from a position of strength, whether it’s adversarial, whether it’s competitive, whether it’s cooperative,” as reported by Politico news.