China lashes out at US with 24-point rebuttal on ‘preposterous lies’ American politicians told on coronavirus
The article, quotes Abraham Lincoln, 'You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time"
China has hit back at the US with what it calls “preposterous allegations and lies” by American politicians to shift the blame for their inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The “reality check of US allegations against China on Covid-19,” which is a 24-point rebuttal, says there is no legal basis for holding China accountable and making it pay for Covid-19. “Essentially, some US politicians are trying to shift the blame out of domestic political agenda,” it says.
The article starts with a prologue that quotes Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the US. It then gives a breakdown of each claim and cites multiple reports, and studies to support its counterarguments. “Recently, some US politicians and media outlets have been fabricating preposterous allegations and lies of one kind or another to shift the blame to China for their inadequate response to Covid-19. However, as Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Lies evaporate in the light of truth. It is time to let facts speak for themselves. In the future, we will continue to reveal the truth to the world whenever new lies appear,” says the article published on the website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On Covid-19's origin and Wuhan lab
The report refutes conspiracy theories that the virus was constructed by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), and emphasizes that all available evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is natural in origin, not man-made. US President Donald Trump also recently claimed that he has seen evidence that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a Wuhan laboratory.
Addressing allegations that Covid-19 was caused by an accidental leak from WIV, the article says that the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory (Wuhan P4 Laboratory) in the WIV is a government cooperation program between China and France. The institute does not have the capability to design or synthesize a new coronavirus, and there is no evidence of pathogen leaks or staff infections in the Institute, it says.
“The Wuhan P4 Laboratory is a government cooperation program between China and France, with its design, construction and management all following international standards, and operations protected by special facilities and strict protocols. All lab staff must pass relevant tests to obtain a qualification, and the first group had received training in other P4 labs in France and America. The Lab must have its facilities and equipment examined on an annual basis by a government-accredited third-party agency, and can continue to operate only after it passes such annual inspections,” says the article.
The article tears into claims tying the origin of the virus to Wuhan. “Being the first to report the virus does not mean that Wuhan is its origin. The origin is still not identified. Source tracing is a serious scientific matter, which should be based on science and should be studied by scientists and medical experts,” it says. “Historically, the place that first reported a virus was often not its origin. For example, HIV infection was first reported by the US, yet it might also be possible that the virus did not originally come from the US. And more and more evidence proves that the Spanish Flu did not originate from Spain,” it adds.
While some politicians, including Trump, have referred to Covid-19 as “Chinese virus,” it says that the World Health Organization (WHO) has made it clear that the naming of a disease should not be associated with a particular country or place.
On cover-up allegations
Many allege that China could have contained the virus within Wuhan in the first place, but that it allowed many of its nationals to fly to Milan, New York and other places, spreading the virus to the rest of the world. The article, however, says that China took the most stringent and rigorous measures within the shortest possible time, which largely kept the virus within Wuhan. Further, as the virus continues to infect and kill people across the world, China has come under criticism for allegedly covering-up and delaying release of information that resulted in the spread of the virus. The article tackles this allegation, stating that what has happened is an unexpected attack by an unknown virus against human beings. “It takes time to study and understand it. China has provided timely information to the world in an open, transparent and responsible manner,” it says.
Was China too late in disclosing information about human-to-human transmission as a result of which the US and the rest of the world did not gain enough knowledge about how deadly Covid-19 was and therefore failed to respond quickly? It rejects this theory and says that the messages from China and the WHO have been timely and strong. “The US knew about the danger of the virus all along. It was not until early March that the US government seriously acknowledged the danger and severity of the spread of the virus in the country,” it says.
On the allegation that China covered up a large number of cases in the early days of Covid-19, the article says that data revision by Wuhan is a common international practice, and in fact, proves that China is open, transparent and responsible
The article also attacks criticism that Beijing has been spreading disinformation about Covid-19 and emphasizes that China has always been transparent in information release. “On the contrary, some US politicians, scholars, and media outlets that are hostile to China have kept slandering and attacking China. China is a victim of disinformation,” it says.
On wet markets and bats
The article handles reports on how China is reopening wildlife markets. “There are no so-called wildlife wet markets in China. China has passed legislation banning all illegal hunting and trade of wild animals. And in fact, China does not even have the concept of wet markets. What we have in China are farmers' markets and live poultry and seafood markets. They sell fresh fish, meat, vegetables, seafood, and other farm produce. A few of them sell live poultry. They are no different from the fish markets or fruit and vegetable markets in Western countries. Such markets exist not only in China but also in many other countries. They are an important part of local life. No international law restricts the opening or operation of such markets. What was reopened in Wuhan are these traditional farmers' markets,” it explains.
It further says that the Chinese did not contract the novel coronavirus while eating bats and that bats were never part of the Chinese diet. “Wuhan Huanan seafood market, where cluster cases were identified in the early days of the epidemic, does not sell bats,” it adds.
On silencing a whistleblower
The article rejects criticism that Beijing tried to silence a whistleblower and arrested D Li Wenliang, to cover up the spread of the virus. “Dr Wenliang was not a whistleblower, and he was not arrested. Dr Zhang Jixian, a respiratory doctor, was the first to report Covid-19 cases, and was awarded for this contribution,” says the article.
It explains that in mid-January, Dr Wenliang started to show symptoms of infection and was confirmed to have Covid-19 on January 31, and he died on February 7. “The National Supervisory Commission decided to send an inspection group to Wuhan to investigate issues related to Dr Wenliang. On March 19, the inspection group released its findings and held a press briefing. Wuhan's Public Security Bureau announced the decision on the matter, pointing to the misapplication of relevant legal provisions in Dr Wenliang's case, and revoked the reprimand letter,” says the article. It goes on to say that Dr Wenliang was a good doctor, and was a member of the Communist Party of China, not a so-called “anti-establishment figure,” and that he was named a “national model healthcare worker in fighting Covid-19” on March 5, and was honored as a martyr on April 2.
On China's political system, US election and WHO
The article next refutes the allegation that the Chinese political system is the root cause of the problem. “Virus does not distinguish between ideology or social system. The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have played a decisive and critical role in leading the Chinese people in the successful fight against COVID-19. China's political system, which has effectively united and mobilized 1.4 billion people on a vast land of 9.6 million square kilometers, provided a strong political guarantee for China to overcome the difficulties faced by a developing country and pool all available strengths and resources in winning the battle against the virus,” says the report. It adds, “What has happened shows that the social system and development path chosen by the Chinese people suit China's national conditions and that the CPC enjoys firm and broad support of the Chinese people. And China has no intention to export its political system.”
The article severely criticizes reports that China is interfering in the US election and is trying to stop Trump from being re-elected. “China follows the principle of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. If anything, it is some US politicians that capitalize on China-bashing as their election tactics,” says the report.
It also denies that China controls WHO. “China firmly supports multilateralism. We have all along been in good communication and cooperation with WHO. But we have never attempted to manipulate the organization. The suspension of funding by the US, the largest contributor to WHO, has been widely opposed by the international community,” says the article.