China Calls U.S. Investigation of COVID Lab Leak Theory 'Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory'

China blasted the U.S. investigation of the COVID-19 lab leak theory, calling it a "ridiculous" conspiracy theory.

An article published in the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, The People's Daily, said it was "ridiculous for U.S. to repeatedly hype up 'lab leak' conspiracy."

"This move is merely another attempt at political manipulation made under the pretext of tracing the origin of the virus, and is no different from those made at the beginning of the epidemic," the article, which was published Wednesday, reads.

On May 26, President Joe Biden ordered American intelligence agencies to complete a 90-day review on "two likely scenarios" of the virus' origins—that either COVID-19 stemmed from animal-to-human transmission, the hypothesis many scientists have suspected, or that COVID-19 accidentally leaked from a Chinese lab, which China has repeatedly refuted.

In a statement to Newsweek, the office of the director of national intelligence said it had not reached a conclusion on the origin of the virus and will continue to examine information about both scenarios.

"The U.S. intelligence community does not know exactly where, when or how the COVID-19 virus was transmitted initially but has coalesced around two likely scenarios: either it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident," the statement said.

"While two elements of the IC lean toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter—each with low or moderate confidence—the majority of elements within the IC do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other," the statement continued. "The IC continues to examine all available evidence, consider different perspectives and aggressively collect and analyze new information to identify the virus's origins."

The new probe comes months after the World Health Organization (WHO) released the results of its own investigation following a four-week mission to Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected in December 2019.

Despite a joint statement from the United States and 13 other governments, which scrutinized the study for its independence from Chinese government influence, China has continued to defend the investigation and argued that government officials were cooperative in providing access to original data.

"China has always supported the World Health Organization in its global study of the origins of COVID-19.... The joint WHO-China study on COVID-19 origin-tracing reached a definite conclusion: that its introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be an 'extremely unlikely' pathway," The People's Daily said.

"The reason behind the U.S. attempt to overturn the results of the investigation headed by the WHO is that it is not satisfied with the conclusions reached by the China-WHO joint expert team," The People's Daily continued. "According to the U.S. vision, the epidemic is not natural in origin, but man-made. For this reason, the U.S. government, some U.S. media outlets and a handful of experts are staging this farce based on the presumption of guilt."

China COVID Wuhan Investigation U.S. Lab Leak
A fireman disinfects a lab at the Wuhan No. 3 Boarding School in China on August 3, 2020. Wang Fang/Xinhua

China called out the U.S. for its relatively high coronavirus cases and deaths, pointing out that some outbreaks originated from the U.S. and suggesting that a lab leak could have just as easily occurred on American soil.

"If the U.S. side really cares about the origins of the virus, it should elaborate on these 'coincidences' and invite WHO experts to the U.S. to carry out investigations," the article read. "But in fact, the U.S. has run away from its obligations since the very beginning, repeatedly questioned the conclusions of the WHO experts, and expressed strong discontent with the conclusions drawn from science and facts."

The U.S. leads the world in the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths with over 34 million confirmed cases and more than 614,000 deaths.

China maintained that "conspiracies and lies will eventually be exposed by science and facts" and criticized the U.S. for what China believes to be blocking an international front to fight the pandemic.

"In the face of the pandemic, any political manipulation will disrupt international cooperation and global efforts in fighting the disease," The People's Daily stated. "For some politicians in the U.S., political interests are far more important than saving lives and seeking truth."

Updated 09/06/21, 2:53 p.m. This story was updated with comments from the office of the director of national intelligence.