The Chinese Embassy in the United States has slammed what it believes are baseless allegations that the novel coronavirus leaked from a lab, comparing them with false accusations that suggested Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
“The origins of COVID19 is a matter of science and should be jointly studied by scientists worldwide, rather than be politicized,” embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu tweeted late on Monday.
“Any conclusion must be drawn in line with WHO procedures and following science-based methods. The campaign to politicize the study of origins and smear China is no different from the lies about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) 12 years ago,” he added.
In late May, President Joe Biden ordered US intelligence officials to produce a report reexamining the origins of the coronavirus. He said US intelligence community is split between two versions of the virus’ origin — it was either transmitted to humans from an animal or came from a lab accident. British intelligence is reportedly also not ruling out the lab leak theory. Commenting on this, Beijing said that scientists, not intelligence services, should be engaged in finding out the origin of COVID-19.
Shortly before the US and its allies invaded Iraq in March 2003, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell told a meeting of the UN Security Council that he received first-hand information about the technologies for the production of biological weapons allegedly available to then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. In support of these words, Powell demonstrated a test tube with white powder, claiming that it contained a sample of weapons of mass destruction produced at Iraqi factories. As it was later revealed, Powell had been misinformed by the US intelligence and the test tubes turned out to be fake.