Threats, ‘disinformation’ from China seen deflecting scrutiny of secret Wuhan lab

by WorldTribune Staff, March 13, 2020

The outrageous claim by China’s Foreign Ministry that the U.S. Army sent the coronavirus to China is meant to deflect attention from the fact that the center of Beijing’s biological weapons program is based in Wuhan, which has the most cases of the virus, a report said.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday issued the accusation, giving it the weight of the top leadership in Beijing and generating headlines in major U.S. media including

China offered no evidence to support its claim that the U.S. Army ‘brought the epidemic to Wuhan.’

While the origin of the coronavirus remains a mystery, it first surfaced in early December when the first victims developed viral pneumonia and many, but not all, had a link to a wild animal market in Wuhan.

In recent weeks, the Chinese government appears to have backed away from the Wuhan market theory on the origin, and shifted to claiming the virus was introduced into China from abroad.

Wuhan is the location of China’s sole declared Level-4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The laboratory is engaged in research on deadly coronaviruses and has been linked to China’s covert biological weapons program, security analyst Bill Gertz noted in a March 12 report for The Washington Times.

Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping on Feb. 14 told an emergency meeting in Beijing that a national system to control biosecurity risks was needed “to protect the people’s health.” Xi called lab security a “national security issue.”

Soon after Xi’s Feb. 14 comments, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive entitled: “Instructions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.”

Steven W. Mosher noted in a Feb. 22 report for the New York Post that “It sure sounds like China has a problem keeping dangerous pathogens in test tubes where they belong, doesn’t it? And just how many ‘microbiology labs’ are there in China that handle ‘advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus?’ ”

In all of China there is only one such facility. It is located in the city of Wuhan “that just happens to be . . . the epicenter of the epidemic,” Mosher noted.

White House National Security Robert O’Brien, at a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, called out the Chinese for mishandling the virus outbreak.

“This outbreak in Wuhan was covered up,” O’Brien said, noting that the coverup delayed a global response by two months.

Zhao Lijan, spokesperson and deputy director general of the Foreign Ministry information department, made the claim on Twitter, a social media platform which is banned in China.

Zhao asked in a tweet when the first patient to contract the disease caused by the virus was detected and how many people were infected.

“What are the names of the hospitals? It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” he wrote. “Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!”

Zhao offered no evidence to support the claim but the comments followed earlier Chinese government statements suggesting the coronavirus originated outside China.

The Trump administration is planning a high-level response to what it regards nothing more than propaganda designed to fuel anti-American sentiment in China and around the world.

Zhao referred to a group called the Center for Research on Globalization, that published in Montreal, Canada, an article under the headline “Further evidence that the virus originated in the U.S.”

The Washington Times disclosed last week that a senior Chinese medical official announced that the coronavirus originated outside China, which fueled rumors throughout China and the rest of Asia that the CIA has bioengineered the virus as a weapon. The CIA denied the disinformation.

Meawhile, the Chinese Communist Party is ratcheting up threats against the West, with a particularly nasty warning about access to life-saving drugs aimed at the United States.

In an article in Xinhua, the state-run propaganda agency that’s largely considered the mouthpiece of the party, Beijing bragged about its handling of COVID-19, a virus that originated in the city of Wuhan and has spread quickly around the world, killing nearly 5,000 people and infecting thousands more. The article also claimed that China could impose pharmaceutical export controls which would plunge America into “the mighty sea of coronavirus.”

Instead of taking responsibility for allowing the virus to spread worldwide, China is casting itself in the role of global hero and went so far as to demand a thank you for containing the virus as long as it did.

“We should say righteously that the U.S. owes China an apology, the world owes China a thank you,” an editorial in Xinhua read.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Beijing’s comments should concern all Americans and that China is keenly aware that in a moment of crisis “they can threaten to cut us off from our pharmaceutical supplies, they could trigger a domestic problem here that would make it difficult or us to confront them.”

“It’s a tremendous amount of leverage,” Rubio said.

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