Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
Bloomberg: A question regarding a statement by the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan who says that China will risk international isolation if it fails to allow a real investigation on its territory into the origins of the virus that caused COVID-19. What’s the foreign ministry’s comment on Mr. Sullivan position?
Zhao Lijian: China deplores and rejects the relevant remarks by the US side which is sheer blackmail and threat. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has unreservedly shared with other countries its experience in containment and treatment in an open and transparent manner. China has received WHO experts twice and co-released with WHO the joint mission report on origin-tracing, making positive contributions to the global efforts in this regard. There is no ground to accuse China of saying “no” to origin-tracing study. It is inflammatory and sensational statement that China is facing isolation in the international community.
Origin-tracing is a scientific matter that requires international cooperation of scientists across the globe. The vast majority of countries in the international community agree that this issue should not to be wantonly politicized. On the contrary, it is the US side, by obstinately pressing ahead with the so-called “international investigation” through political manipulation, using intelligence service to replace scientists for evaluation, and clamoring for the “position of strength” on the issue of origin-tracing, that stands on the opposite side of the overwhelming majority in the international community, and thus is facing isolation in the international community.
The US has been attacking China time and again for no other purpose than to hold back China’s development, and shift the blame for its poor epidemic response. If the US does care about the truth, it needs to answer the following three questions with no delay:
First, who on earth should be held accountable for the US failure to fight the epidemic? To date, the number of infections and deaths in the US has exceeded 33.54 million and 600,000 respectively. As a country equipped with the world’s most advanced medical resource and technology, the US needs to hold relevant US officials accountable for the botched response, take measures to prevent a repetition of such tragedies so that American people who lost their lives didn’t die for nothing.
Second, does local transmission of the novel coronavirus in the US date back earlier? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the US recently published a new study which analyzed more than 24,000 stored blood samples contributed by participants during the first three months of 2020, and concluded that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was present in the US as far back as December 2019, weeks before the first officially reported cases. A report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America in December 2020 shows that between December 13 and 16, 2019, coronavirus antibodies were detected in at least 39 blood samples from the states of California, Oregon and Washington. The US government should conduct a meticulous and transparent investigation into these earlier cases at home.
Third, what is really going on inside the bio-lab at Fort Detrick? The military base has inherited the devilish legacy of Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army that waged the aggression war against China. The lab’s scope of research includes bacteria that have been known to pose serious threats to public, fauna and flora health. In June 2019, research work at Fort Detrick was suspended after an inspection found failure to follow procedures and mechanic glitches and leaks. Around the same time, unexplained respiratory disease emerged in northern Virginia and EVALI broke out on a large scale in Wisconsin. The US government has given next to nothing on these issues and still remains reticent today. Given that the US government habitually practices the “gatekeeping theory”, destroyed critical evidence in the Tulsa race massacre, controls and manipulates communication, and that the US intelligence is in the line of lying, cheating and stealing, how can others trust the US? How can the US ensure it is being transparent? Why not grant necessary access to international experts to learn relevant information?