Chinese Ambassador Repeats Conspiracy Theory That Pandemic May Have Originated in the United States

Chinese Ambassador Repeats Conspiracy Theory That Pandemic May Have Originated in the United States
Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to the United States, participates in a discussion during the seventh U.S.–China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, on June 24, 2015. (Chris Kleponis/AFP via Getty Images)
Frank Fang
China’s ambassador to the United States has renewed the Beijing regime’s conspiracy theory that the CCP virus may have originated in the United States.

Cui Tiankai, in an interview with CNN that aired on Feb. 7, was asked if World Health Organization (WHO) experts who are currently in the central Chinese city of Wuhan investigating the origin of the virus, would be granted “full access to China.”

“They are already in Wuhan. They have been in Wuhan for quite a few days,” Cui said. “My question is, will they be allowed to come here [to the United States] to do the same thing?”

Cui also brushed aside theories that the virus may have originated from either a so-called wet market or a laboratory in Wuhan.

“I think when people make accusations, they have to prove these accusations,” he said.

The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, originated in Wuhan, although researchers worldwide are still unclear on exactly when and how the virus first emerged.
Last month, the U.S. State Department said it “had reason to believe” several researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill with COVID-19-like symptoms in the autumn of 2019. The suggestion contradicted a claim by a researcher at the institute who said there was “zero infection” among lab staff and students.
This isn’t the first time China has sought to blame the United States for causing the pandemic. In March last year, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused the U.S. Army of bringing the virus to Wuhan when participating in a military sports event.
On Jan. 18, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, also suggested that WHO experts should “conduct origin-tracing” in the United States. Beijing also has tried to pin the blame for the pandemic on other countries, including Italy and India.

At a Feb. 5 daily briefing, Wang Wenbin, another spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, suggested that “relevant parties” should invite WHO experts to their countries for an “origin-tracing study.”

In the same CNN interview, Cui also denounced a recent British Broadcasting Corp. report about the persecution of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, saying that its sources were “untrustworthy.” The broadcaster had reported that Chinese men engaged in mass rape, sexual abuse, and torture of Uyghur women detained inside internment camps in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, based on interviews with several former detainees and a guard.
Beijing has detained more than 1 million ethnic minorities, including Uyghurs, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz people, in these camps; most of them practice Islam. Beijing claims these camps are “vocational training centers.”

“I even visited some of the vocational training centers. They are just like a campus. Not a labor camp, but campus,” Cui said.

The Washington-based nonprofit Campaign for Uyghurs, in a statement following the BBC report, said, “We hope that leaders and individuals across the world will sit with this painful reality, and search deep in your conscience to respond.”
Ziba Murat, a senior researcher for the organization, said on Twitter: “As a daughter of a #Uyghur doctor who is imprisoned in one of those camps, & as a woman, this is extremely painful to read. Anyone who still thinks this is OK and bowing to #China AND turning their back on #Uyghurs, is equally complicit.” Murat is the daughter of missing Uyghur doctor Gulshan Abbas.
A U.S. State Department spokeswoman told Reuters that the BBC report was disturbing and said China should allow “immediate and independent investigations by international observers.”
In January, then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the Chinese regime’s persecution of Uyghurs and other majority-Muslim ethnic minorities as genocide and “crimes against humanity.”
Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers U.S., China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master's degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
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