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Reality Check of US Allegations Against China on COVID-19

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-10 08:43
A recovering pneumonia patient gives a thumbs-up to medical workers at Wuhan University's Zhongnan Hospital. [GAO XIANG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published an article on COVID-19 on Saturday, rebutting false claims from the US on ties between COVID-19 and China.

In the article, China rebuts 24 untrue claims from the US, including calling the novel coronavirus "Chinese virus", and that the virus is produced by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The ministry says it will continue to rebut the false claims if new ones come up.

1.Allegation: COVID-19 is "Chinese virus"

Reality Check: WHO has made it clear that the naming of a disease should not be associated with a particular country or place.

2.Allegation: Wuhan is the origin of the virus

Reality Check: Being the first to report the virus does not mean that Wuhan is its origin. In fact, the origin is still not identified. Source tracing is a serious scientific matter, which should be based on science and should be studied by scientists and medical experts.

3.Allegation: The virus was constructed by the Wuhan Institute of Virology

Reality Check: All available evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 is natural in origin, not man-made.

4.Allegation: COVID-19 was caused by an accidental leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology

Reality Check: The Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory (Wuhan P4 Laboratory) in the WIV is a government cooperation program between China and France. The Institute does not have the capability to design and synthesize a new coronavirus, and there is no evidence of pathogen leaks or staff infections in the Institute.

5.Allegation: China spread the virus to the world

Reality Check: China took the most stringent measures within the shortest possible time, which has largely kept the virus within Wuhan. Statistics show that very few cases were exported from China.

6.Allegation: The Chinese contracted the virus while eating bats

Reality Check: Bats are never part of the Chinese diet.

7.Allegation: China is reopening wildlife wet markets

Reality Check: There are no so-called "wildlife wet markets" in China. China has passed legislation banning all illegal hunting and trade of wild animals.

8.Allegation: China's cover-up resulted in the spread of the virus

Reality Check: What has happened is an unexpected attack by an unknown virus against human beings. It takes time to study and understand it. China has provided timely information to the world in an open, transparent and responsible manner.

9.Allegation: China arrested Dr. Li Wenliang, a whistle-blower

Reality Check: Dr. Li Wenliang was not a whistle-blower, and he was not arrested.

10.Allegation: China was too late in disclosing information about human-to-human transmission

Reality Check: The messages from China and the World Health Organization have been timely and strong. The US knows about the danger of the virus all along.

11.Allegation: China is not transparent in data releasing

Reality Check: China has been fully open and transparent about its COVID-19 data. The figures can well stand the test of history.

12.Allegation: China covered up a large number of cases in the early days of COVID-19

Reality Check: The data revision by Wuhan is a common international practice. As a matter of fact, it proves that China is open, transparent and responsible.

13.Allegation: China has been spreading disinformation about COVID-19

Reality Check: China has all along been open and transparent in information release. On the contrary, some US politicians, scholars and media outlets that are hostile to China have kept slandering and attacking China. China is a victim of disinformation.

14.Allegation: The Chinese political system is the root cause of the problem

Reality Check: Virus does not distinguish between ideology or social system. The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have played a decisive and critical role in leading the Chinese people in the successful fight against COVID-19.

15. Allegation: China expelled US journalists to hide the truth about COVID-19

Reality Check: China's measure was a response to the US long-term oppression of Chinese media in the US, especially the recent expulsion of 60 Chinese journalists. China has released information in an open, transparent, responsible and timely manner.

16.Allegation: China controls WHO

Reality Check: China firmly supports multilateralism. We have all along been in good communication and cooperation with WHO. But we have never attempted to manipulate the organization. The suspension of funding by the US, the largest contributor to WHO, has been widely opposed by the international community.

17.Allegation: The WHO failed to take seriously the COVID-19 situation in Taiwan

Reality Check: The Taiwan region of China did not send any warning to WHO. What it did was asking for more information from the organization after the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported the disease.

18.Allegation: China has blocked Taiwan's bid to join WHO

Reality Check: Taiwan, being part of China, has no right to join WHO, whose membership requires sovereign statehood. The technical cooperation channel between China's Taiwan and WHO is unimpeded.

19.Allegation: China is responsible for the global spread of COVID-19

Reality Check: There is zero legal basis for holding China accountable and making it pay for COVID-19. Essentially, some US politicians are trying to shift the blame out of domestic political agenda.

20.Allegation: China has been profiteering from COVID-19

Reality Check: Despite a still formidable task of combating COVID-19 at home, China has been providing medical supplies to other countries to the best of its ability.

21.Allegation: China's anti-epidemic assistance to other countries is to serve its political purposes

Reality Check: China's assistance to other countries is a return of their kindness in helping China with COVID-19 response. It is also a concrete step to put into action the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

22.Allegation: China is interfering in the US election

Reality Check: China follows the principle of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. If anything, it is some US politicians that capitalize on China-bashing as their election tactics.

23.Allegation: China put restrictions on export of COVID-19 supplies

Reality Check: The purpose of relevant requirement is for better quality control.

24.Allegation: China took discriminatory measures against Africans in China

Reality Check: China's COVID-19 response measures apply to both Chinese and foreigners without discrimination. China follows a zero-tolerance policy on discriminatory words and actions.

CGTN contributed to this story.

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