It feels like every media outlet in the country has written at least one story about the lab leak theory this week. But President Biden’s announcement that he wanted a fresh investigation of the question seems to have really upset China. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, who spread rumors last year about the virus originating in the United States, returned to that territory today.
China Review News: On May 27, US President Biden said that a report may be released to share in detail the findings of the US intelligence community on the origin of the novel coronavirus. It seems that the US intelligence agencies are beginning to voice their views on the topic of origin-tracing, saying that they will continue to study all the evidence, collect and analyze new information. What is China’s comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: Origin-tracing is a serious scientific issue, and yet the US intends to let its intelligence service play a leading role in conducting the research. This only shows that facts and truth is the last thing the US side cares about. It has zero interest in scientific research, but is only seeking political manipulation for the purpose of scapegoating.
The US side has been clamoring for an “investigation” on the “laboratory leak” theory hyped up by the US with an ill intention and ulterior motive. I want to remind those in the US of two points. First, it is clearly written in the WHO-China joint mission report that “a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely”. Second, it is the US that has the largest scale and the highest number of bio-labs in the world with media coverage of virus leak at the bio-chemical research base Fort Detrick. According to public information, Fort Detrick is inextricably linked with Unit 731, a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Japanese aggression war against China. Shiro Ishii, who was in charge of this heinous unit, was also the bio-weapon consultant of Fort Detrick. When does the US plan to give an explanation in detail on the unexplained respiratory diseases in Northern Virginia in July 2019 and large-scale EVALI outbreaks in Wisconsin? Does the US side have the will and courage to invite WHO experts for investigation?
I think we all get what Zhao is doing here. He’s mirroring US concerns as a way to suggest they are unreasonable and/or hypocritical. The problem of course is that the virus did originate in Wuhan. We all watched it spread from there around the world just a little over a year ago.
So when Zhao suggests the US should invite WHO experts in to investigate, he doesn’t sound like a “wolf warrior” tough guy he sounds like a moron. Members of the WHO team may consider the lab leak theory connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology extremely unlikely but it’s still a lot more likely than the idea it originated here.
One thing we should all be able to agree on at this point is that the virus originated in Wuhan so that’s where we should be looking for answers. China should stop offering snappy comebacks and instead address their ongoing failure to find the source of the worst pandemic in a century. If they’d done a better, more transparent job over the past 16 months we might not be having this conversation at all.