Under fire from governments all over the world, Beijing has a responsibility to embrace a new era of transparency and honesty as global leaders attempt to confront the coronavirus pandemic that came out of Wuhan. Unfortunately, instead of owning up to their gross miscalculations and making an effort to provide restitution to humanity in the form of, you know, useful help at this time of crisis, China appears to already be back to their old tricks.
A new directive from Xi Jinping’s central government has put restrictions on academic research into the origins of the novel coronavirus, demanding that all papers on the subject be vetted with extra scrutiny by leaders in Beijing.
Can’t have too much truth getting out there, obviously.
“I think it is a coordinated effort from the Chinese government to control the narrative, and paint it as if the outbreak did not originate in China,” one Chinese researcher told CNN. “And I don’t think they will really tolerate any objective study to investigate the origination of this disease.”
Indeed, in the directive from the Ministry of Education, Chinese officials insisted that “academic papers about tracing the origin of the virus must be strictly and tightly managed.”
After all, Beijing has to retain the plausibility of their outlandish state media claims that the virus came from a laboratory in North Carolina.
“The directive lays out layers of approval for these papers, starting with the academic committees at universities. They are then required to be sent to the Education Ministry’s science and technology department, which then forwards the papers to a task force under the State Council for vetting. Only after the universities hear back from the task force can the papers be submitted to journals,” reported CNN.
With intense redactions in place, no doubt.
All of this makes us suspicious about the official story about the coronavirus coming from a wet market, and it gives further credence to a theory that many share – including some in the UK government – that this outbreak can be traced to a laboratory in Wuhan that was studying these very diseases. Did someone at the lab catch this illness and start accidentally spreading it around? Was the bat/pangolin/seafood market a cover story from the beginning?
It’s very curious.
We won’t know the true origin of this virus until and unless China opens its doors to independent researchers who have no obligation to run their findings by the government before publishing. It’s up to China’s trade partners, including the United States, to make sure this research takes place.