US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced “a large number of evidence” that the Corona virus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, in conflict with the US intelligence services ’conclusion that it is not the product of human action.
“There is a lot of evidence that this virus came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo said in an interview with ABC TV.
Pompeo added that “the best experts so far think what appears to be man-made.
There is no reason not to believe this at this stage”.
When the broadcaster interviewed indicated that it contradicted the findings of the American intelligence agencies, Pompeo retreated, saying: “I saw what the intelligence services said.
I have no reason to imagine that they got it wrong”.
Pompeo’s statement contrasts with a statement last week by US intelligence that said the virus did not appear to be the product of human or genetically modified work.
That statement undermined conspiracy theories promoted by anti-China activists and some supporters of President Donald Trump, who believe the virus was developed in a biological weapons laboratory of the Chinese government.
The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for clarification about Pompeo’s comments.
The Chinese “Global Times”, which is run by the official People’s Daily of the ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial in response to Pompeo’s interview on Sunday that he (Pompeo) had no evidence that the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, and called on the United States to provide evidence.
“The Trump administration continues to fight an unprecedented propaganda war as it tries to hinder global efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Chinese newspaper added.
The report, released on Thursday by the Office of the Director of Intelligence, said that the intelligence services “agree with the widespread scientific consensus that the virus was not made by humans and not genetically developed”.
US officials familiar with intelligence reports and analyzes have said for weeks that they do not believe that Chinese scientists developed the Coronavirus in a government biological weapons laboratory and then emerged from it to spread around the world.
Instead, they say they believe it either appeared through contact with infected animals on the animal market in Wuhan, or as a result of an accident in one of two Wuhan government laboratories believed to be carrying out civilian research on potential biological hazards.
For his part, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday that Russia and China are taking advantage of the emergency because of the spread of the Coronavirus, which is emerging to advance their interests in Europe, and described China’s efforts to promote a mobile phone network with Huawei equipment as malicious.
“The United States is aware that some countries will try to use the pandemic as a way to invest in vital sectors and infrastructure, which will have a long-term impact on security,” Esber told the newspaper, La Stampa, in response to a question whether China and Russia were trying to gain influence in Italy by sending aid”.
“Undoubtedly, potential competitors will try to use their influence to advance their interests and create divisions in NATO and in Europe… Huawei and the 5G network are an important example of such malicious activities from China”.
China and Russia have offered aid to Italy, including sending doctors, medical equipment and masks to the country, which was the first to witness a widespread outbreak of the disease in Europe.
“Depending on Chinese suppliers could make important systems vulnerable to malfunctions, tampering, and espionage,” Esber said.
This will jeopardize our ability to communicate and exchange intelligence”.
Russia’s aid to Italy, which included sending medical medical personnel, drew attention to the limited support Italy received from the European Union, and diplomats from the bloc and NATO saw the Moscow move as geopolitical goals.
From London, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said there were questions China should answer regarding information about the Coronavirus outbreak, but a detailed analysis of its role should be done at a later time.
In a statement to the radio station, “LBC”, today, Monday, Wallace said: “The time for a detailed analysis on this is after we have all put the situation under control and overcome it and our economies return to normal activities”.
He added, “China needs to be open and transparent about what it has fallen from, its failures, and also its success”.
China has repeatedly denied secret any details related to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.