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Is China Seeking To Evade The COVID-19 Origin Investigation?

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered an online speech at the World Health Council meeting on May 18. Photo: Xinhua

Before China's President Xi Jinping delivered a speech to the World Health Council on May 18, Beijing seemed to be in a difficult position.

More than 100 countries have signed draft resolutions calling for an independent investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Although the language of the text is completely diplomatic and does not mention the name of any country, it goes beyond Australia's call to clarify China's failures in the early stages of dealing with the disease crisis, and against Beijing's desire that any investigation must be led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Chinese officials have previously called Canberra's proposal "extremely irresponsible" and accused Australia of undermining global efforts in the fight against disease. But speaking to WHO members, Xi said in a very peaceful voice: of course China is ready to support conducting an investigation into the origin of the virus, when the epidemic is over.
 "China supports the idea of ​​conducting a comprehensive assessment of the global response to COVID-19 after it is controlled so that it can review experience and remedy shortcomings."
Xi said. 
The Chinese leader said that this work should be carried out:
"on the basis of science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner".
Analysts say that in this way, the Chinese leader is creating a long-term game, giving Beijing many ways to avoid any potential adverse effects in the future if one Investigations were made,  CNN  assessed.

How long does it take to investigate?
Beijing has previously supported conducting a WHO-led investigation to clarify the source of the disease and how it spreads. But the organization is being criticized by the US as a "puppet" of Beijing and set an "ultimatum" for 30 days to reform. The findings of the WHO investigation will likely be dismissed by some member states and observers.

China is thought to be able to influence the investigation, either by nominating people who love Beijing or by pressing Chinese relatives to do so.

In his speech, Xi pledged to spend $ 2 billion over two years to support WHO. 
"Some people think this may be a political loan that Beijing will collect in the future."  
CNN commented.

China also continues to show what the political consequences will be against them on the issue of COVID-19. After stopping beef imports and deciding to raise an 80.5% tax on Australia's barley from May 19, China is counting measures targeting Australia's wines and dairy products, in the context of Relations between the two countries deteriorated after Canberra called for an international investigation,  Bloomberg  citing sources familiar with the situation.

COVID-19 puts China in the most vulnerable position for years with criticism coming from many sides, not only the US but also countries that have good relations with China. This is reflected in the level of support for Taiwan joining WHO as observers.

It may take several more years for complete control of COVID-19. Scientists warn that the corona virus may never disappear and it is not yet confirmed that the vaccine will defeat the disease. 

Xi said the investigation will be conducted after the pandemic "is controlled to summarize experience and address gaps", implying it could be a long-term wait.      

Analysts say that in this way, the Chinese leader is creating a long-term game, giving Beijing many ways to avoid any potential adverse effects in the future if one Investigations were made, CNN assessed.

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