Pompeo's Wuhan lab charge makes no sense: former US ambassador to China

By Xie Wenting and Bai Yunyi Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2020/5/14 6:30:37

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Photo: AFP

While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo keeps hyping the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 virus came from a lab in Wuhan, the former US Ambassador to China said that he did not think the virus was released by the lab.

"Secretary Pompeo is suggesting that just to stir up more concerns in the US," Max Baucus, former US ambassador to China, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview. "The lab charge has a very insidious subliminal message that maybe it was intended to be released, but that makes no sense."

First of all, China would not release a virus to hurt its own people. Secondly, nobody has suggested that China intentionally caused COVID-19, he said.

The former diplomat stressed that no matter whether the virus came from the lab, a wet market or other places, the most important thing now is to deal with it.

According to Baucus, Pompeo is one of the most hawkish people in President Donald Trump's administration. "I think Trump allows him to be hawkish."

The statements from the administration, and specifically from Pompeo and some senators, are very dangerous. And they're excessively exciting and antagonizing American public opinion toward China, he added.

"A lot of people know better. A lot of people know that's excessive but they're not standing up. They're not talking. They're not saying very much about it," he said.

During the interview, the former diplomat stressed the necessity to cooperate to address global challenges such as preventing a pandemic.

Under the current situation, he said we need to wait until after the election in November to see whether the US and China can still work together in areas such as developing a coronavirus vaccine.

He said that in today's era, the US and China are still in the same boat despite the fact that the two countries now are not always paddling in unison.

"Maybe one country is paddling forward, the other country is paddling backwards. But we're in the boat and it's a big sea. There are a lot of storms around. So, we better figure out a way to get this boat going in the same direction," he said.

He noted that cooperation between the two countries carries positive significance for the rest of the world.

While there are rising sentiments in favor of decoupling the US and China, Baucus said this is unwise and he predicted that after the pandemic, there won't be a large-scale decoupling.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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