Chinese Embassy Expresses ‘Grave Concern’ Over Upcoming Hearing on COVID-19 Origins

Chinese Embassy Expresses ‘Grave Concern’ Over Upcoming Hearing on COVID-19 Origins
Security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 3, 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

China has expressed “grave concern” over a scheduled U.S. hearing on the origins of COVID-19.

According to an email sent by an official at the Chinese Embassy, China is in opposition to the investigation.

Li Xiang,  a counselor at the U.S. Chinese Embassy sent the email to Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) on April 14 at 2:15 a.m. Wenstrup is the chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The hearing is scheduled for April 18, under the title “Investigating the Origins of COVID-19, Part 2: China and the Available Intelligence.”

“I am Counselor Li Xiang with the Chinese Embassy in the US. I am reaching out to express our grave concern regarding the COVID-19 Origins hearing to be chaired by Congressman Wenstrup on next Tuesday. According to the announcement, the hearing is to examine ‘China’s complicity in the COVID-19’ crisis and hold China accountable. We firmly oppose it,” Xiang wrote in the email.
A spokesperson for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic told Fox News Digital that the attempted intimidation by the Chinese Embassy was “absurd.”

“What is China trying to hide? The embassy’s attempt to silence the Select Subcommittee’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19 is absurd, and it will not work,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson went on to say that it’s essential to hold China accountable for the role it played in the crisis, further adding that this is key to preparing the United States for future pandemics and threats to national security.

“Chairman Wenstrup is committed to examining all intelligence related to where and how this pandemic began. The members of the Select Subcommittee will not stop or stall their investigation on account of ‘grave concerns,’ foreign intimidation, and baseless opposition,” the spokesperson said.

The committee is set to hear from former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Feith, according to Fox News.

The incident isn’t the first attempt China has made to exert pressure on U.S. lawmakers who are trying to determine the origins of the virus.

Xiang also sent a letter last month to the chief of staff for Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo). The letter described the bill to declassify information on the virus’s origins as “an act of political manipulation.”

“I am reaching out to express our grave concern regarding the ‘Covid-19 Origin Act of 2023’ (S.619), which falsely claimed that the Covid-19 coronavirus originated from Wuhan Institute of Virology, accuses China of blocking international investigations, refusing to share information and lacking transparency etc. and required the Director of National Intelligence to declassify information relating to the origin of COVID–19. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this,” the letter states.

The letter was laughed off by Hawley, who stated that there was “no chance” the bill would be withdrawn.

Hawley has been a staunch opponent of U.S. reliance on Chinese drug imports. Earlier this month, he told Fox News that American dependence on Chinese drugs poses a great threat to national security.