China, US clash again on Covid origin, Indo-Pacific

China, US clash again on Covid origin, Indo-Pacific

 

On Thursday, China said the US is playing politics with the Covid-19 pandemic by calling for a new investigation into the origin of the virus first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

 

The Chinese foreign ministry said scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO) had already said that the “lab leak” theory was unlikely.

 

The ministry dismissed the theory that the virus may have leaked from a lab in Wuhan as a “conspiracy”.

 

“Some people in the United States completely ignore facts and science;” ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Thursday.

 

Zhao said that the US ranks first globally in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and fatalities; which have reached around 33 million and 600,000 respectively.

 

He said the US should accept a WHO-led international investigation into its Fort Detrick biolab and over 200 similar facilities it operates around the world.

 

The Chinese foreign ministry was responding to US President Joe Biden telling US intelligence officials; to redouble their efforts to investigate the origin of the pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to high security Chinese laboratory in Wuhan.

 

The Biden administration is seemingly adding to the global pressure on China to be more open about the outbreak; aiming to counter the opposing Republican complaints that the new president hasn’t been tough enough; to press China on its alleged lack of transparency about the first days of the pandemic.

 

ALSO READ: China furious as new report suggests Wuhan lab staff sought hospital care weeks before Covid-19 outbreak was disclosed

 

CHINA ANGRY OVER INDO-PACIFIC STRATEGY, QUAD

Separately, the Chinese defence ministry singled out the Biden administration on its Indo-Pacific strategy; saying that no strategy should instigate countries to establish selective and exclusive military alliances; to gang up or to create the “New Cold War” featuring bloc confrontation.

 

The zero-sum game will only lead to more division, antagonism and chaos; senior colonel Tan Kefei, defence ministry spokesperson said in Beijing on Thursday.

 

“No strategy should harm the welfare of people in regional countries; or put them in a dangerous situation,” Tan was quoted as saying by official military media.

 

The strategy of intensifying military presence and highlighting military competition will only aggravate regional tensions and endanger world peace and stability, Tan added.

 

Earlier this month, China had lashed out at the four-member Quad; saying it is an exclusive clique rallying countries to work against China.

 

The ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying said that China has always made its view clear about the Quad; which comprises the US, India, Japan and Australia.

 

“We believe it is an exclusive clique against China and trying to rally countries around China to work against China,” Hua added.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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