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Iran Press TV

China slams latest deceptive US push to wage new COVID-19 probe

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 26 May 2021 2:47 PM

China has slammed the US for "spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation" following Washington's latest push to wage a new probe into the origins of the coronavirus, even after a recent World Health Organization (WHO) mission to China proved inconclusive.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian once again accused Washington on Wednesday of "spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation such as a laboratory leak" after the right-wing Wall Street Journal newspaper cited US intelligence to claim that three lab workers from Wuhan – where the contagion originated – were hospitalized with COVID-19-like symptoms in November 2019, a month before the pandemic's first declared case.

Zhao further described the US-led revival of the theory as "disrespectful" to the WHO investigation, insisting that the move amounted to "undermining of global solidarity to fight the virus."

Calling on Washington to open its own virology facilities to scrutiny, the Chinese official then emphasized, "If the US really wants full transparency then it should, like China did, invite WHO experts to visit the US and investigate."

"Open up Fort Detrick military base as early as possible, and all the bio labs the US has around the world," Zhao further underlined, referring to an American research facility in Maryland, near Washington, DC.

The development came after the theory that the coronavirus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology was again highlighted by US authorities and media outlets in an apparent bid to wage yet another probe into the origins of the deadly virus following the WHO mission to the Chinese city.

The long-delayed report by WHO, by the team of international experts sent to Wuhan and their Chinese counterparts, drew no strong conclusions about the origins of the pandemic.

Instead, the WHO-led team pointed out that the virus most likely jumped from bats to humans via an intermediate animal. The expert report had initially emphasized that a theory involving the virus leaking from a lab was "extremely unlikely."

The Wall Street Journal also claimed in its latest report on the matter that the Chinese researchers had collected samples seven years earlier from a mine in southwestern China, where miners contracted a mysterious illness from a new, bat-borne coronavirus.

The theory that the contagion had leaked from the Chinese lab was originally hyped up by, among others, the administration of former US president Donald Trump as part of his hawkish anti-China policies.

Since infecting its first victims in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, the pandemic has spread to nearly every country across the globe, killing more than 3.4 million people so far.

Meanwhile, China also called on the US earlier this month to give a full clarification on its bio-military activities at home and abroad, a matter of concern shared by Russia and others.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a May 12 press briefing that it was essential for Washington to place such activities under effective international control.

"We insist the US side should take real action to ensure full transparency and security of projects that are related to biological experiments at US laboratories," Hua added.

"We once again call on the US side to give a detailed clarification and take concrete actions, to ensure the legitimacy, transparency and security of its bio-labs and relevant activities. A verification mechanism should be established under the Biological Weapons Convention, which is a global consensus and an effective way to address concerns and build mutual trust."

The Chinese diplomat further underlined that the United States must agree to the creation of a special monitoring mechanism that would ensure the effective exchange of crucial biotechnological information with other countries.

However, she expressed regret that no meaningful response has yet been received from the American side.

"The whole international community is interested in this," she said. "It is very annoying that the United States has shrugged off the concerns of other countries, including Russia."

The United States dropped hundreds of thousands of germ bombs with cholera and plague on Pyongyang alone during the Korean War, and hundreds of thousands or even millions elsewhere all over China and Korea.

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