Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said during her daily statement that “we must stop raising this theory of a laboratory leak.”
Beijing strongly objected, Monday, to a hypothesis put forward by the US Department of Energy, according to which Covid-19 was leaked following an accidental accident in a Chinese laboratory, and considered that these new accusations “tarnish” its image.
“We must stop waving this theory of a leakage from a laboratory, stop defaming China, and stop politicizing research related to the origin of the virus,” said Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, during her daily statement.
The statement came in response to a change in the position of the US Department of Energy, which said it views “with a low level of confidence” the hypothesis of a virus leakage from a laboratory in China, on the basis of a new intelligence report revealed Sunday by the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
“Experts from China and the World Health Organization, based on field visits to laboratories in Wuhan and in-depth conversations with researchers, have come to the authoritative conclusion that the option of leakage from the laboratory is highly unlikely,” Ning said.
Three years after the onset of the pandemic, the origin of the virus is still unknown after it has killed nearly 7 million people worldwide and debilitated the global economy.
In February 2021, experts from the World Health Organization and Chinese scientists concluded that it was “highly unlikely” that the virus had leaked after an accident at the Chinese Institute of Virology in Wuhan and preferred the hypothesis of the natural origin of the virus and its transmission to humans via an “intermediate” animal. .
But the hypothesis of laboratory tampering and accidental leakage has re-emerged, especially in the United States, where the Wall Street Journal said the FBI is leaning towards it.
In a sign that the debate is not over in the United States, four US intelligence agencies support the natural origin hypothesis of Covid, while two remain undecided, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Right now, there is no definitive answer from the intelligence agencies on this issue,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday on CNN.