China has rejected calls for an independent international investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.
A top diplomat in the UK, Chen Wen told the BBC the demands were politically motivated and would divert China’s attention from fighting the pandemic.
Information about the origin of Covid-19 and how it initially spread could help countries tackle the disease.
The virus is thought to have emerged at a wildlife market in the city of Wuhan late last year.
Meanwhile an EU report accuses China of spreading disinformation about the crisis.
The bloc’s External Action Service says Russia, and to a lesser extent China, have “targeted conspiracy narratives” in the EU and neighbouring countries.
US President Donald Trump has also repeatedly attacked China for its handling of the outbreak, and the state of Missouri is suing the Chinese government, accusing it of doing little to stop the spread of the virus.
Scientists have poured cold water on speculation that the virus could have been engineered in a Wuhan laboratory.
What is China objecting to?
Almost from the start of the pandemic, there have been calls for international investigators to be allowed into China to find out how it all started.
On Thursday Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he would push for an investigation at the annual meeting next month of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). Australia sits on the executive board of the assembly.
The body already plans to discuss calls for a “lessons learned” review of health emergencies.
But Ms Chen told the BBC her country could not agree to any international investigation.
“The independent inquiry is politically motivated,” she said.
“We are fighting the virus at the moment, we are concentrating all our efforts on fighting against the virus. Why talk about an investigation into this? This will divert not only attention, it will divert resources.
“This is a politically motivated initiative, I think no-one can agree on this… It would serve nobody any good.”
Ms Chen said there were lots of rumours about the origins of the virus but such misinformation was dangerous, she claimed, and said it was like a political virus and as dangerous as coronavirus itself, if not even more so.