Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
June 9, 2021
Bloomberg: The US and the European Union are set to back a renewed push into investigating the origins of COVID-19. The G7 is also expected to discuss the US calls for the COVID probe. What is the foreign ministry’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: Origin-tracing is matter of science. To politicize it or use it for blame-shifting will only disrupt and undermine relevant research and harm international anti-pandemic cooperation. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve seen some US politicians or media outlets labeling the virus, seeking stigmatization, spreading unfounded “lab leak” hypothesis, wantonly attacking and smearing the joint report on the study of origins by the China-WHO team of experts, and drawing on the intelligence apparatus to launch “investigations”. Such moves driven by politicization are deviating further away from the purpose of the study of origins. They have hamstrung the COVID-19 response in the US and inflicted heavy losses on the American people, and are having an increasing negative impact on global anti-virus cooperation. We urge the US to immediately halt its political manipulation, step up to its responsibilities, restore origins study to its scientific arena, and give a clear and responsible account of its Fort Detrick and over 200 bio-labs all over the world. We also hope that relevant sides will reject any move that politicizes origins study and contribute to the global response through concrete actions.
June 10, 2021
China Youth Daily: We have noted recently that an expert with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that the so-called “Wuhan lab leak” is a groundless lie. The expert challenged the few accusers in the West to produce the evidence, if they have any, adding that foreign media reports claiming three WIV researchers got infected are completely fake news, as nobody with the WIV ever contracted the novel coronavirus. What’s your comment?
Wang Wenbin: Experts with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have repeatedly stated that nobody with the WIV ever contracted the novel coronavirus and the allegation that “the Wuhan lab leaked the virus” is nothing but a rumor. Early this year, the WHO-China joint mission visited the WIV and held in-depth exchange with experts there. The joint mission agrees that it is extremely unlikely that the virus came from a lab incident. Peter Daszak, member of the WHO international expert group and president of EcoHealth Alliance, said in a recent interview with an American media outlet, “There is no evidence that this was a virus created in a lab … In fact, we’ve worked with the lab in Wuhan for 15 years now … And we know that they do not have that virus in the lab”.
Although Chinese and foreign experts and the WHO have given their authoritative and science-based views on the “lab leak” hypothesis, some US politicians and media are still vigorously hyping up the narrative that “the virus was leaked from the WIV” and pushing for investigations into it. This reminds one of a similar scene nearly 20 years ago, when the US was hyping up its assertion that Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction” to prepare the ground for the Iraq War. Its modus operandi remains unchanged: disregard authoritative international institutions’ views, apply presumption of guilt and try to mislead the public with allegations without factual basis from some officials and intelligence officers. The author of disinformation in both cases is the same person. According to reports, the person who is driving the media hype-up of the WIV leak claim is the Michael Gordon, the same person who authored the “aluminum tube story” on Iraq in September 2002. Given the fact that the US waged war on Iraq with a fictional WMD threat in order to realize its geopolitical goals, we cannot help but ask, what is it up to this time by hyping up the utterly unfounded “lab leak theory” and calling for “investigations” in China?
If the true aim of the US is to study the origins of the virus, then why not rely on scientists as the mainstay instead of the intelligence community?
If the US wants to identify the origins of the virus, then why put a 90-day limit to the process? Origins studies can go on for years or decades without finding a conclusive answer. What kind of conclusion can the intelligence community arrive at within 90 days?
If the US really attaches importance to transparency, then when can it invite WHO experts to visit the Fort Detrick base, given that China has already invited WHO experts in for two rounds of origins study and that WHO experts have also visited various bio-labs including the WIV?
It must be pointed out that the US is politicizing origins study to serve its selfish interests at the expense of the welfare, life and health of people in all countries. The international community should all be vigilant and reject such moves.