The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seems to be ramping up its disinformation campaign against the US in order to deflect from the shady origins of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman last Thursday made the outrageous accusation that the U.S. Army may have sent the COVID-19 to China, giving it official weight and generating headlines in major media.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson and deputy director general of the Foreign Ministry information department made the claim on Twitter, which is banned in China. “It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” he wrote. “Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!”
According to Free Pressers, in recent weeks the Chinese government appears to have backed away from the Wuhan market theory as the virus origin and shifted to claiming the virus was introduced into China from abroad. While the origin of the Coronavirus remains a mystery, it first surfaced in early December when the first victims developed viral pneumonia and many, but not all, had a link to a wild animal market in Wuhan.
However, as the animal market theory loses credibility, this CCP disinformation appears intended to deflect attention from the fact that the center of Beijing’s biological weapons program is based in Wuhan, very near the outbreak epicenter.
As was reported by The Washington Times in late January, Wuhan is the location of China’s sole declared Level-4 bio-containment laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The lab is engaged in research on deadly coronaviruses and has been linked to China’s covert biological weapons program.
Adding credence to at least the possibility that the COVID-19 outbreak could have been caused by an accidental release from the Chinese Wuhan biolab, Chinese President-for-Life Xi Jinping on Feb. 14 told an emergency meeting in Beijing that a national system to control bio-security risks was needed “to protect the people’s health.” Xi called lab security a “national security issue.”
Free Pressers noted that soon after Xi’s Feb. 14 comments, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive titled: “Instructions on strengthening bio-security management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel Coronavirus.”
Meanwhile, Steven W. Mosher noted in a Feb. 22 report for the New York Post that “It sure sounds like China has a problem keeping dangerous pathogens in test tubes where they belong, doesn’t it? And just how many ‘microbiology labs’ are there in China that handle ‘advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus?’”
In all of China there is only one such facility, located in the city of Wuhan “that just happens to be . . . the epicenter of the epidemic,” Mosher noted.
The U.S. government has provided some pushback to this Chinese propaganda. White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien last Wednesday, called out the Chinese for mishandling the virus outbreak. “This outbreak in Wuhan was covered up,” O’Brien said, noting that the cover-up delayed a global response by two months.
We can expect more disinformation coming out of China in the next weeks and months about the origins of COVID-19, but attention should increasingly be focused on Wuhan, China, especially on the Chinese government Level-4 bio-containment lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Paul Crespo is a defense and national security expert. He served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. He holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. Paul is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and a Contributor to American Defense News.