BEIJING — Refuting results of a US report tracing the origins of the Covid-19 virus, Beijing has lodged solemn representations with Washington terming the report as “completely political, and having no scientificity and credibility.”
“China has lodged solemn representations with the US over a so-called virus origins tracing report by the US intelligence community,” said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu in a statement.
“We have stressed on multiple occasions that origins tracing of Covid-19 is a complex issue of science. It should and can only be undertaken by scientists around the world through joint research. The US, however, disregards science and facts.”
In a strongly-worded statement, Ma said the US should “stop poisoning” the international cooperation on virus tracing and return to the correct path of scientific origins tracing and collaboration in the fight against the pandemic.
“It is instead obsessed with political manipulation and origins tracing by the intelligence community. Without providing any evidence, the US has cooked up one story after another to defame and accuse China,” said Zhaoxu.
“The aim is to use origins tracing to shift blame onto China and spread the political virus. The deployment of the intelligence community in origins tracing is in itself compelling evidence of the politicization of the issue.”
“The report on the origins of Covid-19 compiled by the US intelligence community is a mendacious report made up for political purposes. There is no scientific basis or credibility in it. China hereby expresses its strong objection and has made strong representations with the US,” the Chinese Embassy tweeted.
Beijing’s reaction follows the declassified summary of a report commissioned by US President Joe Biden revealed on Aug. 28, which said that the US Intelligence Community assesses that the origins of the novel coronavirus disease may never be definitively identified without additional information.
As per the report, the US intelligence community is still divided about which of the two theories — that the virus came from a lab leak or that it jumped from animal to human, naturally.
There is consensus among the intelligence agencies that the two prevailing theories are plausible, the report said.
A WHO-led team of scientists who traveled to China in early 2021 to investigate the virus’s origins struggled to get a clear picture of what research China was conducting beforehand, faced constraints during its visit, and had little power to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation.
Back in May, Biden issued a directive to the 17 leading US intelligence agencies, which make up the IC, to deliver a report on the origins of coronavirus within 90 days.
“The IC judges said they will be unable to provide a more definitive explanation for the origin of Covid-19 unless new information allows them to determine the specific pathway for initial natural contact with an animal or to determine that a laboratory in Wuhan was handling SARS-CoV-2 or a close progenitor virus before COVID-19 emerged,” the IC said.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Praveen Pramod Tewari
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