China resolutely opposes any form of political manipulation with the excuse of COVID origins-tracing: Chinese FM
Published: Mar 01, 2023 10:22 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The Chinese Foreign Ministry refuted on Wednesday the accusation made by the FBI that a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, likely caused the COVID-19 pandemic and the ministry said that China resolutely opposes any form of political manipulation with the excuse of origins-tracing issue. 

The remarks came after FBI Director Christopher Wray said in an interview with Fox News which aired on Tuesday that the FBI has now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan. 

During Wednesday's routine press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stressed that China always supports and participates in science-based global origins-tracing of SARS-CoV-2. The origins-tracing is a complex matter of science. This study should be and can only be conducted jointly by scientists around the world. 

"A laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be 'extremely unlikely' is a science-based, authoritative conclusion reached by the experts of the WHO-China joint mission after field trips to the lab in Wuhan and in-depth communication with researchers. It was accurately recorded in the mission's report and has received extensive recognition from the international community and the science community," Mao said.

China strongly opposes political manipulation of the origins-tracing issue in any form. Putting the intelligence community in charge for a matter of science is a clear sign that the issue has been politicized, Mao said. 

Given the US intelligence community's track record of making up stories, there is little, if any, credibility in their conclusions. The US will not succeed in discrediting China by rehashing the "lab leak" theory, but will only hurt the US' own reputation, Mao noted. 

The spokesperson urged the US to respect science and facts, stop politicizing this issue, stop its intelligence-led, politics-driven origins-tracing, and stop undermining international solidarity against the pandemic and global cooperation on science-based origins-tracing. 

At present, more and more clues from the international science community are pointing the origins of virus to sources around the world. Many have raised questions and concerns about US bio-military bases at Fort Detrick and around the world, according to Mao.

The US should work with the WHO to invite experts from the world to the US for origins-tracing study as soon as possible, and share the research result with the international community in a timely, open and transparent manner, Mao said. 

Global Times