‘China Doesn’t Produce Bioweapons’: Embassy Hits Out At Indian Media
(This was originally posted in The Week)
‘China Doesn’t Produce Bioweapons’: Embassy Hits Out At Indian Media Claims that the novel coronavirus was created at a Chinese lab or was the result of weapons research have existed ever since the pandemic began. Over the past two weeks, multiple Indian media outlets had reported China had been discussing ‘weaponising’ of coronaviruses as far back as 2015. On Wednesday night, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India hit out at these reports. Wang Xiaojian put out a series of tweets late on Wednesday on the issue.
Wang tweeted, “Recently a few Indian media, certain TV stations, in particular, disregard it’s recognized conclusion including WHO ‘it’s extremely unlikely the virus spread from a lab leak’, hype up so-called ‘lab leak theory’ & baselessly accuses China of ‘weaponizing virus’. We firmly oppose & reject this.”
Wang declared “China has always strictly fulfilled its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention and doesn’t develop, research or produce bio-weapons.” Wang alleged Indian media was relying on news “fabricated” by the western media. He tweeted, “Those few Indian media ignore facts,stir up lies & stale fake news fabricated by western media. If they‘re truly interested & want to explore,why don’t they ask certain western country to clarify bio-military activities home & abroad,give more transparency to its 200+ overseas bio-labs?”
Wang accused some Indian TV channels of stigmatising China. He wrote, “Certain Indian TV stations exploit their prime time to unscrupulously stigmatise China’s kind-will help to India, hype up the Taiwan issue & deliberately incite China’s relations with neighbouring countries.” Wang questioned the “intention” of Indian media houses. He wrote, “Under current pandemic situation in India, why don’t they report anti-epidemic efforts by all walks of life in India? Why don’t they report the help in respective ways provided by all social sectors of China? What’s their real intention?”
In February, a WHO investigating team had indicated that the possibility that COVID-19 was a result of a lab accident was “extremely unlikely”. However, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was more circumspect and noted all avenues of research into the origins of COVID-19 remained open.