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Beijing has refuted an investigation that accused China of delaying the release of vital information of COVID-19 to the World Health Organization in the early stages of the pandemic.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman of China’s Foreign Ministry, blasted the bombshell report as ‘seriously inconsistent with the facts’ during a daily press briefing today.

The remarks came after the Associated Press revealed on Tuesday that the WHO officials were frustrated by significant delays in the information sharing by Beijing when the coronavirus outbreak erupted in China in January.

Zhao Lijian (pictured on April 8), a spokesman of China's Foreign Ministry, blasted the bombshell report 'seriously inconsistent with the facts' during a daily press briefing today

Zhao Lijian (pictured on April 8), a spokesman of China's Foreign Ministry, blasted the bombshell report 'seriously inconsistent with the facts' during a daily press briefing today

Zhao Lijian (pictured on April 8), a spokesman of China’s Foreign Ministry, blasted the bombshell report ‘seriously inconsistent with the facts’ during a daily press briefing today

Beijing has dismissed an investigation that accused China of stalling on passing vital information to the World Health Organization in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The picture taken on May 28 shows a medical worker taking swabs from a resident in Beijing

Beijing has dismissed an investigation that accused China of stalling on passing vital information to the World Health Organization in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The picture taken on May 28 shows a medical worker taking swabs from a resident in Beijing

Beijing has dismissed an investigation that accused China of stalling on passing vital information to the World Health Organization in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The picture taken on May 28 shows a medical worker taking swabs from a resident in Beijing

This January 28, 2020, file photo, shows Tedros Adhanom, director general of the WorldThroughout January, WHO publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus.  Health Organization, left, shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

This January 28, 2020, file photo, shows Tedros Adhanom, director general of the WorldThroughout January, WHO publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus.  Health Organization, left, shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Throughout January, WHO publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. This January 28, 2020, file photo, shows Tedros Adhanom (left), director general of the WHO, shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) before a meeting

China’s top coronavirus expert, Zhong Nanshan, yesterday claimed that the nation has the lowest rates in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

‘So far our country in the world, if we based on an average population of 100,000, our infection rate is the lowest, and our fatality rate is the lowest,’ Mr Zhong told state broadcaster CCTV.

However, the epidemiologist did not quote any statistics or evidence to back his claim during the interview.  

Throughout January, WHO publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. 

The organisation repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus ‘immediately,’ and said its work and commitment to transparency were ‘very impressive, and beyond words.’

But the Associated Press suggested that it was a different story behind the scenes.

The news agency’s report found considerable frustration among WHO officials over not getting the information they needed from China to fight the spread of the deadly virus. 

In this Wednesday, January 29, 2020 file photo, Maria van Kerkhove, head of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force for the World Health Organization speaks during a news conference regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the European headquarters of the United Nations

In this Wednesday, January 29, 2020 file photo, Maria van Kerkhove, head of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force for the World Health Organization speaks during a news conference regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the European headquarters of the United Nations

In this Wednesday, January 29, 2020 file photo, Maria van Kerkhove, head of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force for the World Health Organization speaks during a news conference regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the European headquarters of the United Nations

A second recording saw top WHO official in China, Dr Gauden Galea (pictured), complaining that China was slow to share information on the coronavirus with the health organisation

A second recording saw top WHO official in China, Dr Gauden Galea (pictured), complaining that China was slow to share information on the coronavirus with the health organisation

A second recording saw top WHO official in China, Dr Gauden Galea (pictured), complaining that China was slow to share information on the coronavirus with the health organisation

US epidemiologist and WHO technical lead for Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, felt that they were ‘going off very minimal information’ which was ‘not enough for you do to proper planning’, according to a recording obtained by the Associated Press from the second week of January.

A second recording saw top WHO official in China, Dr Gauden Galea, complaining that the organisation was being provided with information ’15 minutes before it appears on CCTV [China’s state broadcaster]’.

The recordings were taken at a crucial time in early January when there were fewer than 100 recorded COVID-19 cases in China. 

The recordings were taken at a crucial time in early January when there were fewer than 100 recorded COVID-19 cases in China. A staff member checks the body temperature for a man to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus on a street in Mudanjiang of Heilongjiang province

The recordings were taken at a crucial time in early January when there were fewer than 100 recorded COVID-19 cases in China. A staff member checks the body temperature for a man to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus on a street in Mudanjiang of Heilongjiang province

The recordings were taken at a crucial time in early January when there were fewer than 100 recorded COVID-19 cases in China. A staff member checks the body temperature for a man to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus on a street in Mudanjiang of Heilongjiang province

Chinese spokesman rejected the investigation in response to a question about the report. People wearing face masks dance in a park next to the Yangtze River in Wuhan on May 13

Chinese spokesman rejected the investigation in response to a question about the report. People wearing face masks dance in a park next to the Yangtze River in Wuhan on May 13

Chinese spokesman rejected the investigation in response to a question about the report. People wearing face masks dance in a park next to the Yangtze River in Wuhan on May 13

Mr Zhao stressed that China has worked closely with the WHO based on the principle of disclosure, transparency and responsibility. Workers are pictured lining up for medical workers to take swabs for the coronavirus test at a large factory in Wuhan on May 15

Mr Zhao stressed that China has worked closely with the WHO based on the principle of disclosure, transparency and responsibility. Workers are pictured lining up for medical workers to take swabs for the coronavirus test at a large factory in Wuhan on May 15

Mr Zhao stressed that China has worked closely with the WHO based on the principle of disclosure, transparency and responsibility. Workers are pictured lining up for medical workers to take swabs for the coronavirus test at a large factory in Wuhan on May 15

By the end of the month, the number of confirmed cases in the country had exploded to nearly 10,000, when the WHO declared a global health emergency.

But the Chinese spokesman rejected the investigation Wednesday in response to a question about the report during the Foreign Ministry’s daily briefing.

He told reporters: ‘I don’t know where the inside information you said comes from. I can tell you clearly that such reports are seriously inconsistent with the facts.

Mr Zhao stressed that China has worked closely with the WHO based on the principle of disclosure, transparency and responsibility.

He added that Beijing reported to WHO and other countries about ‘unknown pneumonia’ on January 3. Chinese authorities then shared the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus with WHO on January 12. 

Zhao Lijian, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, emphasised that China will continue to support the role of the WHO in leading efforts to contain the virus. Pictured, medical workers wait to be disinfected as they line up to submit the COVID-19 samples in Jilin on May 17

Zhao Lijian, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, emphasised that China will continue to support the role of the WHO in leading efforts to contain the virus. Pictured, medical workers wait to be disinfected as they line up to submit the COVID-19 samples in Jilin on May 17

Zhao Lijian, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, emphasised that China will continue to support the role of the WHO in leading efforts to contain the virus. Pictured, medical workers wait to be disinfected as they line up to submit the COVID-19 samples in Jilin on May 17

Zhao’s response comes as China’s renowned coronavirus expert, Zhong Nanshan, claimed that the nation has the lowest rates in COVID-19 infections and deaths. In this file photo taken on March 2, Zhong Nanshan attends an oath-taking ceremony for two new party members

Zhao’s response comes as China’s renowned coronavirus expert, Zhong Nanshan, claimed that the nation has the lowest rates in COVID-19 infections and deaths. In this file photo taken on March 2, Zhong Nanshan attends an oath-taking ceremony for two new party members

Zhao’s response comes as China’s renowned coronavirus expert, Zhong Nanshan, claimed that the nation has the lowest rates in COVID-19 infections and deaths. In this file photo taken on March 2, Zhong Nanshan attends an oath-taking ceremony for two new party members

‘China’s anti-epidemic actions are open to the world. The timing and the latitude are clear, the facts are clear at a glance, and they can stand the test of time and history,’ Mr Zhao claimed.

He emphasised that China will continue to support the role of the WHO in leading efforts to contain the virus.

It comes as China has faced a global backlash over the country’s apparent ‘cover-up’ on its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which led to a pandemic that has infected over 6million people worldwide.

The nation came under another wave of criticisms and anger from other countries after its rubber-stamp parliament passed a controversial national security law for Hong Kong, criminalising secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference. 

China has faced a global backlash over the country’s apparent ‘cover-up’ on its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which led to a pandemic that has infected over 6million people worldwide. Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured on May 21 during the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing

China has faced a global backlash over the country’s apparent ‘cover-up’ on its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which led to a pandemic that has infected over 6million people worldwide. Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured on May 21 during the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing

China has faced a global backlash over the country’s apparent ‘cover-up’ on its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which led to a pandemic that has infected over 6million people worldwide. Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured on May 21 during the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing

Sources said the laws would ban secession, foreign interference, terrorism and all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government and any external interference in the former British colony. FILE: Police hold down a protester in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019

Sources said the laws would ban secession, foreign interference, terrorism and all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government and any external interference in the former British colony. FILE: Police hold down a protester in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019

Sources said the laws would ban secession, foreign interference, terrorism and all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government and any external interference in the former British colony. FILE: Police hold down a protester in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019

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