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China criticises U.S. 'scapegoating' over COVID origin report

CoronavirusAug 26, 2021 03:01AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. Fu Cong, the director-general of the arms control department of Chinese foreign ministry, speaks at a news conference on COVID-19 origin-tracking related issues, in Beijing, China August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang 2/2

By Gabriel Crossley and Michael Martina

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -China on Wednesday criticized the U.S. "politicization" of efforts to trace the origin of the coronavirus, demanding without any evidence that American labs be investigated, ahead of the release of a U.S. intelligence report on the virus.

The U.S. report https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/us-review-covids-china-origin-unlikely-solve-vexing-questions-2021-08-24 is intended to resolve disputes among intelligence agencies considering different theories about how the coronavirus emerged, including a once-dismissed theory about a Chinese laboratory accident.

"Scapegoating China cannot whitewash the U.S.," Fu Cong, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' arms control department, told a briefing.

U.S. President Joe Biden received a copy and was briefed on the classified report on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.

The intelligence community has been "working expeditiously" to prepare an unclassified version for the public, Psaki said without giving a timeline for its release.

U.S. officials say they do not expect the review to lead to firm conclusions after China stymied earlier international efforts to gather key information on the ground.

China has said a laboratory leak was highly unlikely, and it has ridiculed a theory that coronavirus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 infections emerged in late 2019, setting off the pandemic.

Beijing has instead suggested https://www.reuters.com/article/china-diplomacy/analysis-china-pushback-on-covid-19-rights-trumps-push-for-better-relations-with-west-idUSL4N2OV1TJ that the virus slipped out of a lab at the U.S. Army's Fort Detrick base in Maryland in 2019.

"It is only fair that if the U.S. insists that this is a valid hypothesis, they should do their turn and invite the investigation into their labs," Fu said.

Fu said China was not engaged in a disinformation campaign.

The fringe idea once put forward by individual Chinese officials - which lacks any public evidence - has become a Chinese government talking point as it attempts to deflect criticism about its possible role in the origins of the virus.

On Wednesday, the Chinese embassy in Washington posted the calls for World Health Organization investigations at Fort Detrick and at the University of North Carolina to its website after it said U.S. media had rejected its editorial submissions.

And on Tuesday, China's envoy to the United Nations asked the head of the WHO for an investigation into U.S. labs.

A joint WHO-Chinese team visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology but the United States said it had concerns about the access granted to the investigation.

"The early days of the pandemic were irrefutably in China, yet China continues to obfuscate and deny the international community the needed access," a senior U.S. administration official said, adding that if a future pandemic were to originate in the United States, it would insist on a "swift and transparent" evaluation.

"If there were sound, technically credible reasons for a U.S. investigation, we would of course support it. But there are none," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has argued a Chinese lab leak was plausible, in a statement urged the Biden administration to immediately declassify the report.

"The American people deserve to know what our government does and does not know about the origins of COVID-19," Rubio said.

A key Congressional panel has been advised it may receive a copy of the classified report on Thursday, according to a Congressional official.

China criticises U.S. 'scapegoating' over COVID origin report
 

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Comments (17)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Aug 26, 2021 3:39AM ET
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Who in the west would publish their t r a sh , propaganda researches? Even Reuters is not that low to do it for money.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Aug 26, 2021 3:33AM ET
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Blatantly lie just like they tell their people that it is the west fault for their great firewall blocks accessing the west.
David David
David9 Aug 26, 2021 3:33AM ET
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How did they lie? Give proof...
Thomas DeVito
Thomas DeVito Aug 26, 2021 3:33AM ET
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David David Hello 50 cent army
Roger Pruzansky
Roger Pruzansky Aug 26, 2021 1:00AM ET
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scamdemic=china us ......new world order is mpre the true world power and together probally did this and just poke false lies away from them
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 10:13PM ET
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China is the only country right now that have contained the Delta virus... other countries will have a very long time and a long road ahead...
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 9:54PM ET
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Time to check out Fort Diedrich... let's go...
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Aug 25, 2021 8:56PM ET
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I'm going out on a limb here being a US citizen. I wouldn't put it past some US officials to have contributed to the development of Covid-19. Just by the way everything has been handled and the obvious clamp down on our rights. Hope I'm wrong
Anthony Cloud
Anthony Cloud Aug 25, 2021 6:56PM ET
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They forgot the part about the WHO funding gain of function research in Wuhan.
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 6:56PM ET
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Did you listen to Fauci... he said no no to this...
Jeremy Sklenar
Jeremy Sklenar Aug 25, 2021 6:37PM ET
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Breaking news virus originated from Television.. The world's propaganda device.
Nordin Mohamad
Nordin Mohamad Aug 25, 2021 6:15PM ET
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cv19 is coming from the bat and it just transiting at wuhan lab, so blame the bat and why blame wuhan lab.....the simplest way to understand ccp ideology
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 6:15PM ET
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Give examples...we waiting...
Gary SKY saw
Gary SKY saw Aug 25, 2021 6:15PM ET
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Blame the virus came from your butt
divad mocihc
9divaD Aug 25, 2021 5:28PM ET
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Wet Market … 💀
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 5:28PM ET
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Give proof... we waiting...
Simon Liu
Simon Liu Aug 25, 2021 4:22PM ET
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There is only one country that is advanced enough to produce the VIRUS in the world, if the VIRUS is from a lab. We all know which country it is.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Aug 25, 2021 2:33PM ET
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china loves to blame others for it's screwups.
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 2:33PM ET
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Give examples... we waiting...
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Aug 25, 2021 2:28PM ET
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like most autocratic dictatorships, China can not be relied upon to tell the truth about it's part in any self inflected disaster, or political mishap. whether its the disaster at it's lab, the deaths at the forced labor camps, its environmental crisis, ect. the Chinese state will, lie, deny and cover it up.
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 2:28PM ET
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Easy to say... but we need proof, without proof is all he said she said...
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Aug 25, 2021 11:00AM ET
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Biden admin will cover for China. China has tested over 80k animals and not been able to blame first infection on animal. The most reasonable conclusion is lab leak.
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono Aug 25, 2021 11:00AM ET
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Yes, leak from US lab is most possible.
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 11:00AM ET
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Fort Dietrich is the next stop... the world is waiting...
Gary SKY saw
Gary SKY saw Aug 25, 2021 11:00AM ET
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China is learning from the master of manuplation... Hahaha
Mike ND
Mike ND Aug 25, 2021 10:55AM ET
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They had to add extra countries so they could get their gold medal count above the US haha they never lie
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 10:55AM ET
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How? Taiwan is a province, Hong Kong is a province... that is clear...
Stoxer One
Stoxer One Aug 25, 2021 10:55AM ET
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and you're a Chinese b o t - that is clear
John Snowden
John Snowden Aug 25, 2021 10:48AM ET
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perfect timing! we just pulled out of afganistan, now we can redeploy in china!
David David
David9 Aug 25, 2021 10:48AM ET
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I don't think so... China today is very strong... they have no fear like the colonial days... that time is over...
Kwong To
Kwong To Aug 25, 2021 10:48AM ET
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You are indoctrinated by Rambo movies. Get real!
Gary SKY saw
Gary SKY saw Aug 25, 2021 10:48AM ET
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You watch too much games of thrones, John Snowden.. Hahahaha
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Aug 25, 2021 10:25AM ET
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Coming from the Biden administration who's going to believe it.  Waste of paper
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Aug 25, 2021 10:25AM ET
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because its Biden, pretty much everyone that matters.
 
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