China says ‘lab leak’ allegations damage US credibility

BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing on Wednesday accused Washington of damaging its own credibility after a senior U.S. intelligence official said his agency believed the pandemic was “very likely” caused by a lab incident in Wuhan, China. .
Director of the FBI Christophe Wray told Fox News on Tuesday that the Bureau has now assessed that the source of Covid-19 was “most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.”
Chinese officials angrily denied the claim, calling it a smear campaign against Beijing.
“The United States is once again stoking the lab leak theory, which will not discredit China, which will further diminish its own credibility,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman said. Mao Ning said Wednesday during a regular briefing.
Wray’s comments come after a report earlier this week said the US Department of Energy determined a leak from a Chinese lab was the most likely cause of the Covid-19 outbreak. .
The department’s findings are significant because it works with a network of national laboratories, some of which do advanced biological research.
But other agencies within the US intelligence community believe the virus arose naturally around the world.
In Tuesday’s interview, Wray also accused the Chinese government of trying to block US efforts to investigate the causes of the pandemic.
“The Chinese government … has done its best to try to thwart and obscure the work here, the work that we are doing, the work that our US government is doing and our close foreign partners are doing,” Wray said.
“And that’s unfortunate for everyone.”
At Wednesday’s press conference, Mao reiterated a longstanding and unsubstantiated Chinese claim that the virus may have escaped from the US military research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
“The United States should respect science and facts, cooperate with the World Health Organization as soon as possible, invite international experts to conduct traceability research in its country, and share research findings with the community. internationally,” she said.
The scientific community considers it crucial to determine the origins of the pandemic in order to better combat or even prevent the next one.


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