The State Department of the U.S. issued a factsheet that stated, “The U.S. government does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus—known as SARS-CoV-2—was transmitted initially to humans. We have not determined whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.” “The previously undisclosed information in this fact sheet, combined with open-source reporting, highlights three elements about COVID-19’s origin that deserve greater scrutiny.”
1. Illnesses inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV):
The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in the autumn of 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.
2. Research at the WIV:
Starting in at least 2016 – and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2 percent similar). The WIV became a focal point for international coronavirus research after the 2003 SARS outbreak and has since studied animals including mice, bats, and pangolins.
The WIV has a published record of conducting “gain-of-function” research to engineer chimeric viruses. But the WIV has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus, including “RaTG13,” which it sampled from a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013 after several miners died of a SARS-like illness.
3. Secret military activity at the WIV:
Secrecy and non-disclosure are standard practice for Beijing. For many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China’s past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated, despite its clear obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention.
Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. Since at least 2017, the WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military.
Source: State Department website, January 15, 2021
Well-known new Chinese news site The Paper recently reported that on January 9, North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, delivered a speech at the Eighth Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea describing the current relationship with South Korea as “on the brink of collapse.” Coupled with the speech, North Korea has been publishing information about its plans for tactical nuclear weapons, nuclear submarines, multiple warhead technology and hypersonic missiles. The message to the outside world is that North Korea will continue its nuclear ambitions and the work is focusing on nuclear weapon reliability and the expansion of tactical options. Researchers from the American Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences indicated that Kim is trying to send signals to the new U.S. administration and to firm up North Korea’s “bargaining chips.” The intent is to mount pressure on the U.S. and to demonstrate that North Korea is not eager to go back to the negotiation table, especially when Biden’s previous position was not to meet with Kim unconditionally.
Source: The Paper, January 12, 2021
Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDQ: SINA) recently reported that the Swedish court rejected a case filed by Huawei on participating in the nation’s 5G network construction process. Huawei was originally excluded from the bidding process for Sweden’s 5G spectrum auction. The country’s telecommunications industry regulator PTS (Swedish Post and Telecom Authority) made the decision. Huawei requested the Swedish Administrative Appeals Court to block the PTS 5G spectrum auction before the court decides on Huawei’s eligibility. The Administrative Appeals Court later ruled in favor of PTS and lifted the injunction so that the 5G spectrum auction could proceed. However, Huawei then appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court in order to overturn the decision by the Administrative Appeals Court. The Supreme Administrative Court then rejected Huawei’s case and stated that the Appeals Court’s decision was final. Huawei did not respond to the media’s request for comments. In the meantime, out of fear of China’s retaliation, the CEO of Ericsson, the Swedish telecommunications giant and one of Huawei’s top competitors, spoke out to support Huawei. He said Sweden, “though it was the soul and home base for Ericsson,” is now a “very bad nation” for Ericsson.
(1) Sina, January 16, 2021
(2) Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition, January 5, 2021
In the past month, the COVID-19 virus has been spreading in China. Several cities have been locked down, with a total of 29 millions people impacted. Out of the total 32 provinces in China, 29 have asked people to stay where they are and not to travel during the Chinese New Year.
#1: As of January 18, 2021, the Chinese government announced 4 high-risk areas and 88 medium-risk areas, all in Beijing, Hebei Province, and the three Northeastern provinces – Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.
The high-risk areas are:
- Gaocheng District, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province (河北省石家庄市藁城区)
- Xinle City, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province (河北省石家庄市新乐市)
- Nangong Shi, Xingtai City, Hebei Province (河北省邢台市南宫市)
- Huiqi Township, Wangkui County, Suihua City, Heilongjiang Province (黑龙江省绥化市望奎县惠七镇)
The Medium-risk areas are in the following cities:
- Beijing City (with 6 medium-risk areas)
- Tonghua City, Jilin Province (20)
- Changchun City, Jilin Province (11)
- Langfang City, Hebei Province (1)
- Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province (35)
- Xingtai City, Hebei Province (1)
- Dalian City, Liaoning Province (3)
- Shenyang City, Liaoning Province (2)
- Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province (4)
- Suihua City, Heilongjiang Province (1)
- Hehei City, Heilongjiang Province (3)
- Tsitsihar City, Heilongjiang Province (1)
#2: By January 11, 29 out of the 32 provincial administrations in China have asked people to stay in their current location (do not travel or go back to your hometown) for Chinese New Year (February 12, 2021). Traditionally, Chinese people return to their hometown or go to their parent’s home to celebrate Chinese New Year. Beijing was the first to launch the “stay in current location” initiative. (Xinhua)
#3: Local governments provided different incentives to get people to stay where they, including rent reductions, subsidies, and offering of free bus rides, free data on the Internet, free movie tickets, and free entrance tickets to tourist sites. (VOA)
Related postings on Chinascope:
- Pandemic: U.S. Disclosed Three Points on the Possibility That the CCP Generated COVID-19 Virus from Lab
On December 29, 2020, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) released a report based on an interview made in October 2016 on how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was harvesting the organs of Falun Gong practitioners while they were still alive. The statement by the interviewee, Mr. Lu Shuheng, corroborates previous reports and allegations and confirms that those at the Shanghai Armed Police Hospital did not use anesthetics in the organ harvesting process.
Mr. Lu, a former Shanghai native residing in California, called the Sound of Hope Radio station in September 2016 while a program on organ harvesting was on the air. On October 2, 2016, Mr. Lu came to the Sound of Hope Radio station and sat in the studio to have a telephone interview with the WOIPFG about his knowledge of the CCP’s policy of harvesting organs from live Falun Gong practitioners.
To protect Mr. Lu, the WOIPFG did not release information about the interview until December 29, 2020.
Mr. Lu has been in the United States for over 20 years. Several relatives of his in Shanghai had been involved in harvesting the organs of live Falun Gong practitioners.
During Mr. Lu’s visit to China in 2002, one of his relatives asked Mr. Lu to refer those people in the United States that needed an organ transplant. This relative said, “You keep an eye on this. If you can get in touch with a person (to do an organ transplant), you can earn a lot more money than doing renovations!” On another occasion, Mr. Lu learned that another relative, a doctor, performed organ transplant surgeries at the Shanghai Armed Police Hospital and was paid for each operation. “Money can be earned very quickly and in large amounts (when you do organ transplants). So, you just go outside to get (business)!” “The organs are of very good quality and are all fresh, all alive!”
While on the operating table, Falun Gong practitioners would shout out “Falun Dafa is Good” until they succumbed to the pain. The parts needed for organ transplants were not anesthetized because the fewer anesthetics used, the fresher and better the organs would be for transplant.
Mr. Lu has another relative who was deputy director of the Shanghai Labor Reform Bureau and deputy director of the Judicial Bureau. Sometimes, the CCP central government in Beijing would request this relative to swap Falun Gong practitioners for some prisoners so that these prisoners could be released. For each Falun Gong practitioner arrested, the Shanghai police would receive 500 yuan in cash. No booking record would be maintained and the Falun Gong practitioner would be sent directly to a secret location in Pudong, Shanghai.
The first allegation of the CCP conducting organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners was made on March 17, 2006, when a nurse from the Liaoning Thrombosis Hospital in Sujiatun, Shenyang City, came forward in Washington, D.C. to disclose the CCP’s large-scale organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. From 2001 to 2003, the hospital held about 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners. More than 4,000 of them were directly burned in a “cremator” in the backyard of the hospital after their organs had been harvested.
On July 6, 2006, two Canadian lawyers published an independent report. After assessing 18 elements of evidence that the authors submitted were ‘‘verifiable and in most cases incontestable,’’ the report concluded that ‘‘there has been and continues today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.’’
On June 17, 2019, an independent tribunal sitting in London concluded that the killing of detainees in China for organ transplants is continuing, and victims include imprisoned followers of the Falun Gong movement.
Source: World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, December 29, 2020
Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET), the leading financial daily in Hong Kong, recently reported that the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Hong Kong just released its findings from a study it conducted between December 11 and January 4. The survey was among the 1,400 members of the HK Chamber. The results showed that 61 percent of the respondents expressed the belief that Hong Kong’s business environment last year was unstable and had deteriorated over time. More than 40 percent of the respondents were pessimistic about the city’s outlook for 2021. The report also showed that around one third of the interviewees said Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a global business center has decreased in the past year. Experts widely believed the Pandemic and numerous social events, such as the movement calling for democracy and freedom and the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law, significantly impacted the business environment of Hong Kong.
Source: HKET, January 12, 2021
In the past, China has seen multiple cases of children developing “big-head” disease after drinking inferior milk powder. A more recent case of a child with a “big-head” was reported after the parent used an antibacterial cream, which caused abnormal head development of the baby. The government of Zhangzhou City of Fujian Province, where the incident occurred, has ordered manufacturers to recall the product and launched an investigation.
On January 7, Wei Wenfeng, a Chinese consumer product safety expert, broke the story via Bilibili, a Chinese video sharing platform. The video indicated that in 2020, a parent bought the Aiyingshu (嗳婴树) brand “Multi-effect Special Antibacterial Cream” and applied it to his 5-month-old child.
The parent found that after applying the cream, the child experienced a swollen face, hairy forehead, and even stunted growth, which are typical “big-head” disease symptoms. After the incident, the parent took the child to seek a medical examination. It was not until the doctor asked whether the child had used hormone ointment that the parent suspected that there was a problem with this antibacterial cream and stopped using it.
The manufacturer of this antibacterial cream, Fujian Ouai Baby Health Care Products Co. LTD, was registered in Zhangzhou in April 2017. The company also has another “Happy Forest” baby cream. These two products, after being tested at professional institutions, both contained hormones that should not have been added to these products.
However, Fujian Ouai had published a statement claiming that, according to the reports conducted by a local government medical technical center on March 6, 2019, the test results on its antibacterial cream showed “normal” and showed that the product “contained neither hormones not antibiotics.”
Source: Central News Agency, January 8, 2021