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Politicized Origin-tracing Should Give Way to Science-based Cooperation


Currently, a new wave of COVID-19 pandemic caused by the delta variant is raging around the world. More than 130 countries and regions, including China and Namibia, have been affected. Defeating pandemic through greater solidarity and cooperation has once again become an important task for all mankind. However, at the critical moment, some countries are busy in cultivating "political virus", politicizing the issue of virus origin-tracing, coercing the World Health Organization, maliciously discrediting China, and interfering with the overall situation of global unity in fighting against the pandemic. 

Virus origin tracing aims to prevent the further spread of the virus and avoid the recurrence of similar pandemic by studying the origin, transmission and evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be impossible to achieve the goal if we do not take science as the guide and carry out extensive research in multiple countries and regions across the world.

At the very beginning of the pandemic outbreak, China firmly supported and actively participated in the origin tracing research led by the WHO. Since 2020, WHO experts from 10 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, have been invited to China twice to carry out researches together with their Chinese counterparts. They went to all places they wanted to go and met all the people they wanted to meet. During the joint study, a single clinical epidemiology team reviewed the records of 76,000 suspected cases of COVID-19 in more than 200 medical institutions. Through in-depth analysis and research on a large amount of data, the WHO and China released a joint report in March this year, concluded that the pathway of lab leak is extremely unlikely and recommended further research on earlier cases and animal species that may be the host of the virus around the world and further study of the role cold-chain products play in viral transmission. Their research conclusions are scientific and authoritative, which have been unanimously recognized by professionals. 

Unfortunately, a few countries have kept using the origin-tracing of COVID-19 to confuse right and wrong, turn things upside down. They avoid giving an answer to the international community's reasonable suspicions about "Vaping-related Pneumonia" and Fort Detrick's Biolab. Instead, they have presumed guilt against China and continually play up the outdated and unfounded "Lab leak theory" and other cliches, suppress and threaten experts and scholars who make objective and rational voices, and even order their intelligence agencies to handle origin-tracing, list the so-called doubts, fabricate a large number of lies and to concoct the report of origin-tracing to overturn the conclusions of the first phase. Besides, they put pressure on the WHO and Director-General Tedros to start the second phase of origin-tracing on China as soon as possible, even threaten to push forward a third-party independent investigation outside the WHO framework. The purpose of such irresponsible inference and unscrupulous intimidation and coercion is obviously not limited to this matter itself, but intended to pour dirty water on China and force China to bear the sin of "manufacturing" the virus and pay the bill for some western countries' inept responses which has led to relentless spreading of the global pandemic. 

However, A lie told thousands of times is still a lie, it will never be recognized and supported by the international community and professionals. Virus origin tracing should not be politicized, stigmatized or instrumentalized, nor should it be used as a means for one country to attack other countries. Recently, 24 internationally renowned experts issued a joint statement in the authoritative medical journal "The Lancet", reiterating that the COVID-19 most likely originated in nature rather than a laboratory, using scientific evidence to strongly refute the argument of "Lab Leakage". In addition, near 80 countries have supported the WHO-China joint report on virus origin-tracing by writing to the Director-General of WHO, issuing statements or notes, and opposing the politicization of origin-tracing issue; over 300 parties, social organizations and think tanks from more than 100-plus countries and regions have submitted a Joint Statement to the WHO Secretariat, calling on the WHO to conduct the study on COVID-19 origin-tracing objectively and fairly, and firmly opposing the politicization of origin-tracing. The overwhelming voices of justice reflect the righteousness of the international community and the opposition of the people all around the world, which should and must be taken seriously. 

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has upheld the concept of a community of health for all, exchanged prevention and control experience with the other countries in a timely manner, provided anti-pandemic assistance to the best of its ability, and took the lead in launching the world's largest vaccine cooperation operation. Since March last year, the Chinese government and all walks of life in China have donated 58 batches of anti-pandemic materials, and took the lead in donating 100,000 doses of vaccine to Namibia and listed Namibia as the first batch of countries to purchase vaccines produced in China. All above reflects not only the high-level bilateral relationship between our two countries, but also China's positive role in the international community's fight against the pandemic as a responsible major country. 

The COVID-19 virus is the common enemy of mankind and origin-tracing is a shared responsibility of all countries. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons for the international community to defeat the pandemic. China is willing to carry out the COVID-19 virus origin-tracing cooperation based on the principles of science, professionalism, openness and cooperation. China will continue to support developing countries including African countries by producing anti-pandemic material, experience and vaccines etc.. We hope to contribute China's wisdom and effort to the ultimate of mankind in fighting against the virus!

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