China had presented sufficient data in accordance with the requests by experts from the World Health Organisation's mission to China on the origins of the COVID-19 virus, said Liang Wannian, the team leader of the Chinese side of the WHO-China joint expert team.
Liang said China had shared clinical data of early COVID-19 patients, information from epidemiological surveys, and lab test results with the expert team for joint study and analysis, and the findings were later published in the WHO report.
However, Liang said these data contained personal information and it is against relevant laws and regulations in China to allow the data to be taken to other countries.
The Chinese side had explained the situation to foreign experts, and after reaching a consensus, the data was made available to the joint expert team during their mission, but experts could not take photos or make copy of the raw data, he said.
Liang said China has not purposefully withhold data from the research team, and the credibility of the conclusions from the joint report is not undermined simply because China wants to protect its citizen's privacy by not allowing experts to take their personal data with them to other countries.
This article originally appeared in China Daily and has been reproduced with permission.