The UK and China "can’t have business as usual" once the coronavirus crisis has passed, Dominic Raab has said, as he looked ahead to a review into the pandemic.
The first secretary of state, speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference, said "in relation to China, I think there absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive - after the event - review of the lessons".
He said international partners, including cooperating countries and the World Health Organization, will need to investigate how the virus "came about".
Asked about how the government will deal with China once the pandemic has passed, Mr Raab said: "There’s no doubt, we can’t have business as usual after this crisis.
"We’ll have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it could have been stopped earlier."
He said the UK cannot "flinch" from carrying out a review into the outbreak of the virus.
But he added how there has been "very good cooperation with the Chinese" since the virus started, for example on the "return of UK nationals at the outset from Wuhan".
"So we ought to look at all sides of this and do it in a balanced way," he added.
Mr Raab's comments follow those made by one of his predecessors, former foreign secretary Lord Hague, who said it would be “very good to have an international investigation” to determine the origin of coronavirus.
The Conservative peer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "We need international agreement for the rigorous enforcement of the closure of wildlife markets, of live wildlife markets – that is generally thought to be the origin of this disease.”
He said this is an illustration of how the UK “needs to work with China”.
Covid-19 is thought to have originated from an illegal wildlife market in Wuhan, China.
Lord Hague added: “But denouncing China in a nationalistic sense or withdrawing from the World Health Organization is absolutely not the way to go about this, we are going to need structures, frameworks and international cooperation to solve problems like this from now on.”
Asked whether President Trump and President Xi will be able to co-operate, he said: “There’s not a great hope now but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be working on that.”