What share does the Chinese government have in the global spread of the corona virus?
An alliance of five western intelligence agencies has reportedly raised serious charges against Beijing. China has systematically tried to cover up the outbreak of the virus.
In a western intelligence paper, China has been sharply criticized for dealing with the corona crisis. The "Five Eyes" dossier of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand's intelligence alliance summarizes the allegations and suspicions, according to the Australian newspaper "Saturday Telegraph". The dossier documents the cover-up by Chinese authorities and indicates risky research in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first appeared in December.
The 15-page document demonstrates the thrust of ongoing intelligence investigations. However, according to the newspaper, it also mentions its differences over the suspicion that the virus could really have come from the Institute of Virology in Wuhan. US President Donald Trump had sparked speculation about it.
Scientists consider it much more likely that Sars-CoV-2 has been transmitted to humans from bats via another animal and through the wildlife trade. China therefore banned the trade in wild animals with a new law in March. Scientists have also demonstrated that the virus is not artificially generated, but is of natural origin, as confirmed by US intelligence agencies last week. The paper refers to dangerous research in the laboratory using virus from bats, although this was also done in collaboration with American and Australian scientists.
"Attack on international transparency"
According to the "Saturday Telegraph", the paper forms the basis for the allegations which the secret services are investigating. It notes how China's authorities suppressed early warnings from its medical professionals, downplayed the true extent of the outbreak, and censored information, which has been reported several times in media reports. The cover-up is described in the dossier as an "attack on international transparency".
It is particularly complained that China had denied until January 20 that the virus was transmitted from person to person. There have been indications of this since the beginning of December, the paper says. China is also accused of destroying virus samples and of strictly monitoring scientific publications on the virus. The Chinese authorities have also refused to provide live samples to international researchers.
Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on China to help clarify the origin of the corona pandemic. "The whole world has an interest in the exact origin of the virus being clarified," said the SPD politician of the Funke media group. "However, science, not politics, has to provide well-founded answers. China can demonstrate how transparently it actually wants to deal with the virus