China Warns of Retaliation Ahead of U.S. Report on Virus Origins
(Bloomberg) -- China threatened retaliation against those questioning whether the coronavirus leaked from its labs, a warning that comes days before the U.S. releases findings from an intelligence investigation into the pandemic’s origins.
“We will continue to cooperate with international organizations like the WHO in their research and in their search for the origins,” said Fu Cong, director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Arms Control Department. “But we do not accept baseless and unfounded accusations that are politically motivated. And if they want to baselessly accuse China, so they better be prepared to accept the counterattack from China.”
U.S. intelligence agencies are due to finish a virus-origins review ordered by President Joe Biden in late May. That order came in response to questions over whether Chinese labs in the central city of Wuhan were the source of the coronavirus that caused the worst pandemic in more than a century.
China has repeatedly denied the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology or any other of its labs and has been critical of the intelligence review, saying U.S. agencies have a history of being wrong. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday that the report would likely need a couple more days of review before an unclassified version could be released.
Fu said that if the U.S. continued to raise questions about its facilities, then it should allow a probe of labs at a military facility in the U.S. state of Maryland and at the University of North Carolina. World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus should visit Fort Detrick in Maryland, Fu said.
It “is known as the center of the U.S. government’s darkest experiments,” he said. “Serious concerns have long been raised by the international community, including the American public, over Fort Detrick.”
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