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China blasts probe into COVID origin; warns US ‘could meet its Waterloo’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan as members of the World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic visit the institute in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province February 3, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

China has lambasted a newly-announced probe by the administration of US President Joe Biden whether the deadly coronavirus escaped from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, warning that Washington “could meet its Waterloo in this battle.”

China's Global Times daily made the warning in an article published on Sunday and said the Biden administration was taking a “dangerous stance” by calling for a full investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden ordered US intelligence officials last week to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the pandemic's beginnings and determine whether it came from a lab accident in Wuhan or emerged from human contact with an infected animal.

He directed US national laboratories to assist with the investigation and the intelligence community to prepare a list of specific queries for the Chinese government.

Biden called on US intelligence agencies to report back within 90 days.

The Chinese paper said the investigation by US intelligence officials was entirely political and predicted that the team would likely “produce a slanderous report that is in line with the US' anti-China campaign.”

The state-owned newspaper called the US government “full of arrogance” for disrespecting a previous report issued by an expert group of the World Health Organization (WHO), which conclude after its mission to Wuhan in late January that the coronavirus outbreak was not likely to have been caused by a leak from the lab in the Chinese city, and that the virus was most probably transmitted to humans from bats via an intermediary animal.

“Washington is too arrogant to realize that its vicious accusations against China have become a political gamble for itself,” the article added. “The US could meet its Waterloo in this battle” by abusing its soft power to an extent that it would lose all credibility.

The Chinese paper compared the virus probe with US efforts to find Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq and also stressed that the US had placed itself in a “dangerous status.”

The article pointed out that Washington was totally wrong on the issue of WMD in the early 2000s and the invasion of Iraq on that pretext, insisting that US leaders “have lost their credibility at the very beginning of this race.”

“It will be difficult for the US to do what it did 18 years ago when Washington fabricated evidence of Iraq possessing WMDs to fool the international community,” the Chinese daily said.

“So far, the US intelligence agencies can ask only the US media to help spread those rumors anonymously because they do not have any real proof that can be shared with the whole world. This traditional strategy of a frame-up is powerless in today's environment.”

Meanwhile, Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, said last week that Biden was not interested in “serious” scientific origin tracing and did not care about “facts or truth.”

Zhao also called on Washington to open up its own labs for investigation.

The theory that the contagion had leaked from the Chinese lab was originally hyped up by, among others, the administration of former US president Donald Trump as part of his hawkish anti-China policies.

Since infecting its first victims in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, the pandemic has spread to nearly every country across the globe, killing more than 3.4 million people so far.

China also called on the US to give a full clarification on its bio-military activities at home and abroad, a matter of concern shared by Russia and others.

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