Senior government health adviser Wang Guangfa referenced research in Barcelona which detected Covid-19 in a wastewater sample from March 2019 to suggest any investigation into its origins should look at Spain.
It comes ahead of a World Health Organisation "scoping mission" to China next week which aims to establish a platform to trace the emergence of the killer virus which has now claimed more than 500,000 deaths globally.
Independent experts have slammed the research as flawed and contradictory to strong evidence suggesting the virus started in China in late 2019.
Director of the UCL Genetics Institute in London Professor Francois Balloux said: “The most plausible explanation is sample mix-up/contamination."
But officials from the communist regime, which has repeatedly tried to deflect blame, insisted any investigation into how and where the pandemic started should not be confined to the one country.
Chief epidemiologist for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention told state-tun Global Times: “Identifying the source of the coronavirus must be based on negotiations and involve multiple countries.