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China brands COVID-19 lab-leak theory as 'absurd,' Blinken urges transparency

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Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi greet media as he walks to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo Friday, Ma...

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi greet media as he walks to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo Friday, Ma...

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the need for cooperation and transparency over the origins of COVID-19 in a call with Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on Friday and raised other contentious topics, including China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Yang, China's top diplomat, expressed to Blinken Beijing's serious concern that some people in the United States were spreading the "absurd story" about the coronavirus escaping from a Wuhan laboratory, Chinese state media said.

Yang, head of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of China's ruling Communist Party, also told Blinken that Washington should handle Taiwan-related issues "carefully and appropriately," state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The call came ahead of a G7 summit in Britain attended by U.S. President Joe Biden that is expected to be dominated by Washington-led efforts to counter China's growing influence.


Updated : 2021-09-26 18:16 GMT+08:00