China: The World Health Organization Should Investigate Fort Detrick in Maryland

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Chinese President Xi Jinping waves next to Premier Li Keqiang and former president Hu Jintao at the end of the event marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, July 1, 2021. (Carlos Garcia/Reuters)

I suppose that Washington and Beijing should keep open lines of communication, and there’s no particular harm in U.S. deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman meeting with Chinese foreign ministry officials in Tianjin, China this week.

But after a while, conversations with a pathologically, shamelessly, absurdly dishonest regime start to become pointless. It’s bad enough that China refuses to cooperate with any further steps of any independent or international investigation into the origins of COVID-19. But the Chinese Foreign Ministry, day after day, contends that the investigation into the origins of COVID-19 should refocus on the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, speaking Monday:

 For some time, the voice of reason has been growing in the international community, criticizing the US politicization of origins tracing and calling for a probe into the Fort Detrick lab.

Sergei Latyshev, a Russian journalist and historian, wrote in his article that the US is trying to “pin” COVID-19 on China and that coronavirus is used for international blackmail. Abbey Makoe, former political editor at the South African Broadcasting Corporation, stressed in his opinion piece that it is morally incorrect for the US politicize science-based collaborative work under the auspices of the WHO. Hamdhan Shakeel, senior editor of Maldives News Network, pointed out that some western states, instead of tracing the origins of the virus in a scientific manner but out of racism, are attempting to shift the blame to China by distorting facts and spreading disinformation surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

These examples fully show that origins tracing is a scientific matter and should not be politicized. Some in the US are obsessed with using origins tracing for political manipulation in order to deflect attention and shift blames. Their malicious motive has long been exposed to the world. The US has the largest number of confirmed cases; the timeline of early cases in the US has been constantly dialed forward; and the mysteries around Fort Detrick and EVALI remain unsolved. If labs are to be investigated, then the WHO experts should go to Fort Detrick. The US should act in a transparent and responsible way as soon as possible and invite WHO experts to the US for an inquiry into the Fort Detrick lab so that truth can be revealed to the world…

Global Times: According to the latest statistics, over 13 million Chinese netizens have signed the joint open letter calling on the WHO to investigate the biological laboratory at Fort Detrick. So far, we have not seen a positive response from the US. What is particularly regrettable is that the server of the endorsement has come under attacks from US-based IP addresses. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: First, a huge thumbs-up for the Global Times open letter. On this issue, the US owes the Chinese netizens two explanations.

First, the US should offer a responsible explanation on all the suspicion surrounding the biological laboratory at Fort Detrick. Why is it still playing dumb when over 13 million Chinese netizens have called for justice? Why did it keep obfuscating and stonewalling on this issue? Where is the transparency it claims?

Before Sherman’s trip, an unnamed Biden administration official declared in a briefing, “we’ve said we are prepared to engage Chinese officials when we believe those engagements will be substantive and constructive… As Secretary Blinken has said, the U.S. relationship with China will be collaborative where it can be, competitive where it should be, and adversarial where it must be.”

And when pressed about where the U.S. and China could collaborate, this official pointed to climate change.

 I think when we’re talking about timing here, we’re going to take advantage of opportunities if there are areas that are constructive. I just mentioned a little bit earlier these very, very dangerous floods that are going on in Henan. I think that if you read what the Chinese are saying about these floods, it’s very apparent to them – they know that there are climate issues out there, there are these causes out there that they have to fix themselves if they’re going to – if they’re going to resolve some of these problems that affect all of their citizens, they’re going to have to join global movements.  And I think that there are opportunities for us to take advantage of what’s happening there where the Chinese people agree with the international community.  So I mean, that’s an example of how we can be constructive.

How much can our government “collaborate” with a regime that not only won’t let WHO investigate the city where the pandemic began, but that keeps insisting our government started the whole calamitous pandemic? Just what do Americans get out of our government continuing these dialogues with a foreign regime that keeps spreading the most appalling lies and false accusations?