Beijing is urging other countries to cooperate with the WHO to investigate the origin of the novel coronavirus, signaling that Wuhan may not be the original epicenter of the virus.
"With the advancement of the tracing process, in which more countries and places might be involved, we hope that all relevant countries will adopt a positive attitude and cooperate with the WHO to contribute to global virus tracing efforts and anti-epidemic cooperation."
Chinese local media also cited the European Union, namely Italy and Spain, as well as the U.S. as possible origins of the virus.
This comes as the Chinese government has been pointing fingers at imported food packaging for bringing in the virus to China.
It has confirmed that workers have caught the coronavirus from pork arriving from North America, stressing that it will beef up the quarantine process for imported food.
"Recently, many places have detected the new coronavirus on packages of imported frozen food. Surfaces of all objects, including packages of food, could be contaminated by the new coronavirus, and the virus can easily survive in low temperatures."
Beijing has also claimed that the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai has been traced to two cargo handlers who cleaned a container that had just arrived from North America.
At the same time, the Chinese government is actively cooperating in global quarantine efforts, with President Xi Jinping proposing the use of QR-based health certificates to track the virus.
While such a system could enable easy tracking, many are concerned of a possible leakage of personal information, as the system uses an electronic barcode to store a person's travel and health history.
Against this backdrop, China is asking all in-bound passengers from South Korea to receive both PCR and serology-based testing for COVID-19 starting from December.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.