Top Chinese diplomat pushes conspiracy theory US spread coronavirus

Top Chinese diplomat pushes conspiracy theory US spread coronavirus
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian ignited the conspiracy theory. Source: AP
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: A top Chinese diplomat has ignited a conspiracy theory that the United States military could have brought the novel coronavirus to China and it did not originate in the city of Wuhan, as it is thought.

The name of the Chinese diplomat is Zhao Lijian, who is the spokesperson of the country’s foreign minister. Mr Zhao republished a video to his 300,000 twitter followers. In the video, Robert Redfield, the director for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addressing a US Congressional committee on March 11.

In the clip, the CDC director said some influenza deaths in the US were later identified as cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Mr Redfield did not mention when those people had died and what was the time, but the foreign ministry spokesperson pointed to his remarks in support of a growing conspiracy theory that the coronavirus did not originate in Hubei province in central China.

But Mr Zhao did not offer any further evidence is support to his claim.

He said, “CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in the US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! The US owe us an explanation!”

Hundreds of athletes from the US military were in Wuhan for the Military World Games in October last year.

The video was also published to Twitter by other Chinese state media outlets, including popular Global Times tabloid and national broadcaster CCTV.

Another Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also did not completely rule out Zhao’s comments on Friday, said that there were “varied opinions” on the origin of the virus in the international community.

He said China always considers this a scientific question, which should be addressed in a scientific and professional manner. He avoided questions about whether Zhao’s tweet represented the Chinese government’s official position.

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