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Statement by Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu on Release of US Intelligence Report on COVID-19 Origins

2021/08/28

The US intelligence community has recently compiled a so-called report on the origins of COVID-19. It is a mendacious report made up for political purposes. There is no scientific basis or credibility in it. The US has also released a statement slandering and attacking China. The Chinese side hereby expresses its firm objection. It has made strong representations with the US.

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. 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. 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 a compelling evidence of the politicization of the issue.

The US accuses China of not being transparent or cooperative on origins tracing. This is sheer nonsense. China attaches great importance to international scientific cooperation on origins tracing, and has taken an active part in such cooperation. Acting on the principles of science, openness and transparency, we have twice invited WHO experts to China for origins tracing research. Early this year, a WHO-China joint study team of leading international and Chinese experts conducted a 28-day research in China and released a Joint Report containing authoritative, professional and science-based conclusions. This is a good foundation for international cooperation on origins tracing. We have been supporting science-based efforts on origins tracing, and will continue to stay actively engaged. That said, we firmly oppose attempts to politicize this issue.

It is actually the US that is not being transparent, responsible and cooperative on this issue. The US has been refusing to respond to the international community's reasonable doubts on the Fort Detrick biolab and the over 200 overseas bases for biological experiments, trying to cover up the truth and avoid being held responsible. The onus is on the US to give the world an answer.

The US attempts to politicize origins tracing have found no support and met widespread opposition from the international community: More than 80 countries have written to the WHO Director-General, issued statements, or sent diplomatic notes to voice their objection to the politicization attempts and call for the Joint Report by the WHO-China joint study team to be upheld; over 300 political parties, social organizations and think tanks from more than 100 countries and regions have submitted a joint statement to the WHO Secretariat on opposing the politicization of origins tracing; and over 25 million Chinese netizens have signed an open letter asking for an inquiry into the Fort Detrick base. These are people's calls for justice.

As a Chinese saying goes, a just cause attracts abundant support, while an unjust one finds little. We want to once again warn the US side that politicizing origins tracing will lead nowhere. We urge the US to immediately stop doing anything that poisons the atmosphere for international cooperation on origins tracing or undermines global solidarity against the pandemic, and return to the right track of science-based origins tracing and cooperation in the face of the pandemic.

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