Political manipulation of virus origins opposed

2023-03-10 08:24:52China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Beijing on Thursday strongly opposed Washington's latest attempt to politicize the COVID-19 origins-tracing issue, saying that the United States should stop pointing fingers at others and respond to international concerns about its bio-military bases at Fort Detrick and around the world.

"China always supports and participates in the global origins-tracing work based on science. Meanwhile, we strongly oppose political manipulation on this issue in any form," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

On Wednesday evening, the U.S. Senate passed a bill requiring the declassification of information related to COVID-19 origins, a move that came after the media reported that U.S. intelligence officials had provided the White House with classified intelligence showing the virus most likely came from a lab leak in China.

However, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said on Wednesday that there has been no agreement yet across the intelligence community on the virus' origins.

Mao said that for some time, the U.S. has been politicizing, weaponizing and instrumentalizing the origins-tracing issue and playing up the so-called intelligence-led and senators-driven origins-tracing.

"The U.S. has been discrediting and attacking China by spreading the 'lab leak' theory without any supporting evidence, which as a result has seriously poisoned the atmosphere for science-based global origins-tracing," she said, noting that Washington's political manipulation was a major obstacle to global science-based cooperation on the issue.

So far, the U.S. has never invited the World Health Organization to send experts to the U.S. for joint studies on origins-tracing, or shared any early data. It also turned a blind eye to the world's concerns about its bio-military bases at Fort Detrick and elsewhere in the world, Mao said.

"What the U.S. did is making irresponsible remarks and groundless accusations of the WHO's origins-tracing work, oppressing scientists of good conscience for political purposes, and fabricating irrational lies to smear other countries," she added.


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