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Request to probe Fort Detrick reasonable: FM

Source: Xinhua | 2021-08-27

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- By calling for an investigation into Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina (UNC), China hope to rid global origins study of the disruption posed by US politicization so as to create enabling conditions for science-based research, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson Thursday.

"China's call is reasonable and justified," said Wang Wenbin.

Wang made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to a question on why China strongly opposes the lab-leak theory but is at the same time seeking an investigation into Fort Detrick.

Chinese and World Health Organization (WHO) experts have reached the conclusion that a lab leak from Wuhan is extremely unlikely. Scientists across the world, including in the US, overwhelmingly believe that there is no evidence supporting a lab leak theory, he said.

"It is the United States that refuses to subscribe to this scientific conclusion and asserts that the virus was leaked from a Wuhan lab," he said.

Given that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has received two visits from WHO experts already and that the Fort Detrick base and the UNC boast a long history of coronavirus research as well as poor safety records, if the US side insists on the lab leak hypothesis, then it's incumbent on the US to open up Fort Detrick for international investigation, he said.

In the same vein, if the WHO Secretariat insists that the possibility of a lab leak cannot be ruled out, then it's incumbent on the WHO to investigate Fort Detrick, he said.

By calling for an investigation into Fort Detrick and the UNC, said Wang, China hopes to show the world with facts whether the lab leak theory claimed by the US is tenable and credible.

With this call, we also hope to rid global origins study of the disruption posed by US politicization so as to create enabling conditions for science-based research, he said.

"Should the US refuse to cooperate, it would only further expose its true intention of politicizing origins study," he said. 

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