March 2, 2021

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Covid-19 pandemic spurred by ‘separate global outbreaks’ – Chinese FM

3 min read

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi says research suggests that the coronavirus pandemic was likely the result of outbreaks in many places around the world, making very clear that Beijing will resist any attempts at “stigmatization.”

Yi’s comments came ahead of claims by a leading US Intelligence advisor who insisted the virus originated from a biological weapons lab in Wuhan, China.

“We raced against time and were the first country to report cases to the world,” Wang said in an interview with the Global Times.

He argued that, contrary to prevailing opinion, China’s own outbreak was not exclusively to blame for the global pandemic.

More and more research suggests that the pandemic was likely to have been caused by separate outbreaks in multiple places in the world

Where? Wuhan!

The first cluster of Covid-19 cases was reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan on December 31, 2019; and over the next year, the highly contagious virus spread to the rest of the world, resulting in 84.1 million confirmed cases and more than 1.83 million deaths so far.

The precise origins of the coronavirus still remain unclear, but the outgoing Trump administration in the US has been consistently vocal in blaming the pandemic’s origins on China.

Accusations leveled against Beijing have ranged from a cover-up of the initial outbreak, to claims that the virus was human-made and somehow leaked from a Chinese laboratory.

That claim was amplified Monday, as US Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger said “even the establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story.”

“There is a growing body of evidence that the lab in Wuhan is likely the most credible source of the virus. The pathogen may have escaped through a leak or an accident.” 

Proherbarium

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed Pottinger’s claims as “shoddy lies,” challenging US officials to prove their accusations with hard, tangible evidence.

“If the US continues to hype the issue, please show evidence to back it up to the world. America must do their best to protect the lives and health of the US people, and act in the way that a major power should.”

‘The Chinese virus!’

President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus,” insisting that Beijing should be held to account.

“We are on the front line of the struggle for public opinion,” Wang said, adding that China strongly opposes “the politicization of the pandemic.”

“We are determined to make sure that the objective narrative and collective memory of the battle against the pandemic will not be distorted by lies.” 

The Chinese virus?

The results of several international studies suggested that when China first announced the new virus, it had already emerged in other countries.

A month ago, research into blood donations by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reported on by the Wall Steet Journal (WSJ), revealed that Covid-19 had been infecting Americans several weeks before December 31, 2019.

Similar surveys carried out in France, as reported by the BBC, and Italy, Reuters reported, found coronavirus antibodies in blood samples from early December and September that year, respectively.

Meanwhile, RT reported that tests of sewage water in Spain uncovered traces of the coronavirus in probes taken as early as March 2019 – nine months before the pandemic is believed to have started in Wuhan.

Chinese health officials had previously speculated that Covid-19 could’ve gotten to Wuhan from abroad via frozen seafood or meat products.

They also postulated that participants of the Military World Games, held in the city in October 2019, had unwittingly carried and then transmitted the virus.