CHINA / POLITICS
‘Ridiculous' for Biden to customize a 90-day 'scientific' probe on virus origins
US urged on thorough probe into secretive bases, global labs
Published: May 28, 2021 12:01 AM
In this March 19, 2020, file photo laboratory scientist Andrea Luquette cultures coronavirus to prepare for testing at U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., where scientists are working to help develop solutions to prevent, detect and treat the coronavirus. Photo: AP

In this March 19, 2020, file photo laboratory scientist Andrea Luquette cultures coronavirus to prepare for testing at U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., where scientists are working to help develop solutions to prevent, detect and treat the coronavirus. Photo: AP



 Despite US President Joe Biden showing his resolve to find out whether the coronavirus emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident in a latest attempt to hype the virus-leakage conspiracy theory, scientists and foreign affairs experts from the US and China said they do not expect a credible report from the untrustworthy US intelligence community in 90 days as it is not a scientific institution at all. 

Directing the intelligence community rather than scientific professionals shows the US is purely politicizing the tracing of the virus origins, considering the domestic political pressure Biden is facing amid the most intense-ever China-US ties, they said. 

And no matter what kind of report the intelligence agencies finally submit, it would only be a weapon for some US politicians to scapegoat China, they stressed, calling for the US to reflect on its own problems and open its mysterious biolabs all over the world for investigations. 

Biden released a statement on Wednesday, asking its intelligence community to report back to him in 90 days about whether the virus emerged from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident. 

The US recorded the most COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, exceeding 33 million and 600,000, respectively. They do not reflect on themselves, but try to scapegoat China instead. "I want to ask them, what are you really up to? Where is your conscience?" Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian asked at a routine press conference on Thursday.

"I'm sure that this is the correct thing for Biden to state publicly, considering the continued attacks from the Republicans…Biden clearly would like this to go away, but has to address it because the Republicans are aggressive and he only has s small majority," a foreign expert close to the WHO-led investigation team told Global Times under condition of anonymity on Thursday.

"The direction is ridiculous. How could intelligence agencies figure out such a major scientific question in 90 days?" Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

"Tracing the virus origins is just another weapon for the US to wage vicious attacks against China, in addition to affairs related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong," Lü said. 

Lü noted that the US intelligence community has always been a political tool and the results in 90 days depend on the US' political demand then.    

Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, once an intelligence chief, managed foreign affairs with a shady mindset revolving around lying, cheating and threats. He said, "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole ... We had entire training courses" in a public discussion at Texas A&M University in April 2019. 

"Why would anyone trust the results of an investigation conducted by such untrustworthy intelligence agencies?" Zhao asked. 

Chinese observers said the intelligence report is doomed to be a political tool for the Biden administration as Biden is no different from Trump on scapegoating and smearing China over the origins of the virus to fully contain China. The difference is that Biden is more hypocritical. 

Biden said that he had made a decision after reviewing a report of the intelligence community earlier this month. One day after Biden's statement, CNN reported that this spring Biden had stopped an investigation led by Pompeo to prove the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab.    

Closing the previous administration's project and launching a new one requiring redoubled efforts. Biden just wants to prove that he is doing better than his predecessor in defeating China, observers said.

If Pompeo received intelligence that would convince people, he would have released it, the anonymous foreign expert said. 

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, warned that for the next step, the US probably would try to bring in more partners to file a lawsuit against China and claim compensation. 

In April, 2020, the US state of Missouri became the first US state to sue the Chinese government over its handling of COVID-19. 

"Such a lawsuit would be nothing but a farce," Zhu Wei, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Zhu explained that if a US state wants to sue China, a sovereign country, it could only file the lawsuit through US judicial procedures, which has no jurisdiction over China;  if another sovereign country wants to sue China, it can file the lawsuit through international tribunals, which is beyond example even during the horrific 1918 influenza pandemic that caused 40-50 million deaths worldwide. 

The lawsuit is invalid in terms of the US judicial procedure as it has no jurisdiction over China, not to mention that there is no evidence at all supporting such a lawsuit, Zhu noted.  

Chinese experts close to the China-WHO joint study also showed confidence in their previous work and said they would not fear any of the US' challenges.

A Chinese expert from the WHO-China joint team told the Global Times on Thursday the WHO has already thoroughly taken field studies in China, which came up with conclusions on the basis of facts and data. 

"All the materials that we could offer [on the origins-tracing] have been given to the WHO experts, and our conclusion of the WHO-China joint study can stand with scrutiny and testimonies," he said.

Responding to the so-called probe from the intelligence community, Yuan Zhiming, director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, told the Global Times on Thursday that "we have confidence and we will continue sticking to our minds on [scientific research.]" 

The US has turned a deaf ear to calls from international experts and the public, not only from China, but also other countries including Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine, for investigation into their mysterious biolabs. 

"How many secrets are hidden in the US' Fort Detrick lab and other biolabs overseas from the rest of the world? What is the truth of the outbreaks of respiratory disease in northern Virginia in July 2019 and the EVALI outbreak in Wisconsin? The US owes the world an explanation," Zhao Lijian said Thursday. 

The Chinese Embassy in US said in a statement that China supports a comprehensive study of all early cases of COVID-19 found worldwide and a thorough investigation into some secret bases and biological labs all over the world, after US President Joe Biden ordered intelligence to "redouble" their work to determine origins of coronavirus.


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