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Stop politicizing origin tracing of COVID-19

16 Comments
By Sun Xi

COVID-19 has become one of the deadliest pandemics in human history and is still evolving. As of June, it has reportedly infected nearly 180 million people and caused around 4 million deaths. Moreover, the pandemic has resulted in significant social and economic disruption globally and triggered political distrust and tensions among countries.

It is necessary and important for us to find out the origins of the COVID-19 virus, but the origin tracing should be a scientific issue rather than a geopolitical game.

First, the joint WHO-China investigation should be respected. The COVID-19 virus was first publicly reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but that does not necessarily mean China must be the origin of the virus. As we know, the first patient of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic was identified in the United States in 1981, but scientists later traced the origin of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) back to chimpanzees and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in Africa.

On Feb 9 this year, the joint World Health Organization (WHO)-China investigation team held a press conference to present the preliminary findings from its four-week field trip study. The 319-page joint research report supported the natural outbreak theory and clearly stressed it was “extremely unlikely” that the COVID-19 virus was leaked from a Chinese lab.

It goes without saying that China strongly welcomed such conclusions, while those consistently claiming China as “the culprit” were not satisfied at all. However, if we cannot trust the WHO, the top and authoritative agency under the United Nations responsible for international public health, who else we shall rely on?

Second, double-standard approaches should be discouraged. Some Western figures including former U.S. President Donald Trump directly called the COVID-19 virus the “China virus” or “Wuhan virus”. If applying the same logic, shall not the swine flu (H1N1) virus be renamed as “America virus”? Because the H1N1 virus was first detected in the United States in early 2009 and spread quickly across the country and the whole world, eventually resulting in 700 million to 1.4 billion infected cases or 11% to 21% of the total population on our planet. Shall the world ask compensation from the United States?

Intentionally ignoring the WHO investigation result, certain U.S. politicians have repeatedly called for a reinvestigation of China. Washington has vowed that the United States and its allies will “work together” to “exercise the necessary pressure on China” amid the global tracing of the COVID-19 origins, urging Beijing to be a “participant” and provide “transparent data and access”.

However, a recent study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health suggests that the COVID-19 could have been circulating in the United States as early as December 2019. Therefore, if a new worldwide tracing is indeed necessary, then the primary focus should be on America instead of China. In fact, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has publicly urged the Biden administration to probe its own bearing with the COVID-19 origins and investigate its own biological laboratories, especially the army lab at Fort Detrick.

Third, cooperation rather than confrontation should be welcomed. Mislabeling the COVID-19 as “China virus” or “Asia virus” has sadly led to xenophobic violence targeting on Chinese or Asian people in the U.S. and other Western societies. Recently, the Group of Seven (G7) summit in England set the unified tone to rival China, so more confrontation can be expected in the future.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and China has been transformed and progressing significantly under the CPC’s regime since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. However, distrust and hostility between the West and China never disappear.

Ideologically, many Western people are still scared of the CPC. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened such confrontation between the two sides, although this global crisis in fact offers a valuable opportunity for them to cooperate. Optimistically speaking, it is never too late to join hands together, especially when the whole world is still suffering from the pandemic.

First of all, let's stop politicizing the tracing of the COVID-19 origins, because the scientific work is about the survival of all mankind and should not become a geopolitical game among big powers.

Sun Xi, a 1980s China-born alumnus of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, is an independent commentary writer based in Singapore.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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Words of wisdom (for a change)

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

"This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and China has been transformed and progressing significantly under the CPC’s regime since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949."

What a crock of bull. Except this:

"However, distrust and hostility between the West and China never disappear." There is a reason for that. The CPC can be trusted to do 2 things... and that is to lie and cover their rear ends. Once that part is understood, everything else takes the proper perspective.

Along with the CPC, the WHO can't be trusted either. Nor the NIH. Period.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

CCP propaganda piece. China needs to come clean on Covid19 's origins and the role of the WIV.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS seems to have a steady stream of policy wonks who spread CCP propaganda under the garb of independent political commentary.

4 years ago there was another professor from LKYSPP who was fired because he tried to change and influence Singapore's foreign policy in favor of China.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HuangJing(academic)

Singapore is ostensibly a US ally but has many influential people in the government who harbor sympathies towards their ancestral motherland. Another recent case of a Singaporean caught in the US spying for China -

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-spy-singapore-idUSKCN24T0ZV

Singapore should pick a side now because it has tried to play both sides for a long time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Correct wikipedia link for Huang Jing, the American professor fired from NUS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HuangJing(academic)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

China is absolutely 100% to blame and the WHO is also responsible for the spread.

It is not racist to say so, and is quite evil and wrong to cover it up with other lies.

Had China and the WHO been honest and not said lies (claiming its not contagious…remember?), they could have saved many millions of lives.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The writer clearly has a CCP eyed slant in this piece.How often we hear it didn't originate in China? It's not what you know,it's what you can prove.And the talking mouthpieces for the party haven't proven anything and nor has this article,except to gripe that people said it happened there first.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

one of the deadliest pandemic ?

less than 4 million people died, go check how many people died for spanish flu in the beginning of XX then come back and write a correct article....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

CCP propaganda piece. China needs to come clean on Covid19 's origins and the role of the WIV.

you should check dr. Fauci connection with Wuhan laboratory

and dr. Fauci is not a communist chinese but a citizen of united states of america

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

China is absolutely 100% to blame and the WHO is also responsible for the spread.

I would not be too sure about that claim. Back in November of 2019 our high desert town was swept by a wave of some sort of severe respiratory ailment. I had it and in hindsight my physician is almost certain it was Covid 19. There was no test for it then and none of the tests that were available came back positive for anything. Negative for flu, negative for pneumonia, all negatives. My physician treated it as a severe case of bronchitis but looking back the diarrhea and stomach problems plus the fever were not normal for bronchitis. Chest x-rays were so crummy she couldn't tell if I had pneumonia or not. But in hindsight, looking back at her caseload then she is pretty sure we were hit with a wave of Covid in the November, December 2019 time frame. In my own instance fatigue and a dry hacking cough persisted through the summer and I have never been right since. So I am not yet willing to pin the blame on China. It may be that the pandemic did originate there but the current time line doesn't fit my own experience. Much more research has to be done.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It is necessary and important for us to find out the origins of the COVID-19 virus, but the origin tracing should be a scientific issue rather than a geopolitical game.

First, the joint WHO-China investigation should be respected.

Wow what a crazy CCP apologist statement. Respect what? 4 million dead at the hands of the Chinese? It started in China and they just want to obfuscate reality.

Given this loss of responsibilitiy nations should reevaluate their relationship with WHO as well

3 ( +3 / -0 )

you should check dr. Fauci connection with Wuhan laboratory

and dr. Fauci is not a communist chinese but a citizen of united states of america

When people make these comments about Dr. Fauci sending money to China it is coming from a complete lack of understanding how the US Government is funded. Dr. Fauci doesn't fund anything on his own. All funding has to be appropriated by Congress. His departments budget and how he spends it is set by Congress. His department will give the OMB their proposed budget for the coming Fiscal Year, the next year and what they would like for the five years after that. That 7 year period is called the FYDP for Future Years Development Plan. All of that is rolled up into the overall budget submission to Congress from the Executive Branch. From there each houses budget committees will pick those budget submissions apart and most often make changes to them. The House budget committee is the first to "mark up" the budget. Departments then have an opportunity to request changes made by the House to be rescinded. They have 72 hours to submit a "Reclama" arguing their case. The House budget committee can agree with or reject the Reclama. After that the marked up budget is submitted to the Senate budget committees for their marks. Once again departments can submit Reclamas if the Senate makes changes they feel they cannot live with. Once the Reclama process is over the proposed budget is incorporated into an Appropriations Act that will allow government agencies to obligate money. The House votes first on theirs and submits this to the Senate. If the Senate does not agree then there has to be a joint committee meet to work out the differences. Once both Houses agree to the budget numbers in the Appropriations Act it is voted on by both houses. If the act passes it is submitted to the President to sign or veto. Each department is supposed to have its own individual Appropriations Act. Once passed that locks in spending for each department and because of something called The Misappropriation Act no level of government can spend that money on anything other than what Congress appropriated. If any money was sent to China it was because the US Congress appropriated that money. Dr. Fauci has no freedom to spend government money on anything other than what the US Congress appropriated.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Agreed.

This should be a scientific pursuit, not a political one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Traceability become a political tool.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dr. Fauci has no freedom to spend government money on anything other than what the US Congress appropriated.

But he did some sneaky things with those funds, that he should not have done and which he he should not have tried to continue hide after the pandemic broke out. The CCP is very much to blame, but some of that blame should also go to Fauci, Gates, and a few others.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But he did some sneaky things with those funds, that he should not have done and which he he should not have tried to continue hide after the pandemic broke out.

What exactly? according to the explanation provided he cannot do anything with the funds that was not previously approved by the congress. So what "sneaky" things are those and how exactly they were done if he has no authority to change the destination of the money?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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