The Swiss response to the situation shows they have clearly mastered the art of neutrality.
The theory that the coronavirus pandemic began from a lab lead at the Wuhan Institute of Virology may have gotten a bit of a boost recently…from the Chinese themselves.
As I have noted previously, China has been asserting other countries are the point of origin of the pandemic. It has been revealed that China’s state media allegedly invented a Swiss biologist who claimed the US pressured the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate the Wuhan Lab leak theory.
The People’s Daily, China Daily, and CGTN television channel all quoted so-called biologist Wilson Edwards but removed the content yesterday after the Swiss Embassy said it had no record of him as a citizen.
Beijing has repeatedly pushed claims the US pressured the WHO to investigate the possibility Covid-19 was leaked from a lab in Wuhan, where the virus was first found in December 2019.
China has insisted a leak would have been ‘extremely unlikely’ citing the conclusion reached by a joint WHO-Chinese mission to Wuhan in January.
Edwards was quoted by state media terming the WHO investigation a ‘political tool’ and saying the ‘international scientific community’ was ‘disappointed’ in the US.
In China, the Swiss embassy has urged Chinese media to take down articles and posts containing “misinformation.”
In a Twitter post, the embassy said an alleged Swiss biologist who had been quoted in Chinese media in recent days likely did not exist.
State media outlets were among those that carried articles with comments from “Wilson Edwards” on the origins of Covid-19 and the WHO’s independence.
Many outlets have since removed any reference to him.
“While we appreciate the attention on our country, the Embassy of Switzerland must unfortunately inform the Chinese public that this news is false,” the Swiss embassy said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Organisations including CGTN, Shanghai Daily and Global Times had cited the so-called biologist based on his Facebook profile.
However, the Swiss embassy said the Facebook account was opened two weeks ago and only had three friends.
Looking for Wilson Edwards, alleged 🇨🇭 biologist, cited in press and social media in China over the last several days. If you exist, we would like to meet you! But it is more likely that this is a fake news, and we call on the Chinese press and netizens to take down the posts. pic.twitter.com/U6ku5EGibm
— Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing (@SwissEmbChina) August 10, 2021
Lovely understatement: "While we appreciate the attention on our country, the Embassy of Switzerland must unfortunately inform the Chinese public that this news is false," https://t.co/x46AMPRMMx
— Michiel Reerink (@michielreerink) August 11, 2021
You can be sure the Swiss have maintained their talent for neutrality, as evidenced by the response.
Pierre-Alain Eltschinger, a spokesman for the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, said the comments were “wrongly presented as coming from a Swiss biologist.”
“Several Chinese newspapers have since pulled down those comments,” he said in an e-mail, without specifying.
An authenticated Facebook account of the People’s Daily, China newspaper still had an English language reference to an article from CGTN, the international arm of the Chinese state broadcaster, quoting Wilson.
In the CGTN article, Wilson was quoted as saying he and fellow researchers had faced pressure and intimidation from the United States and some media outlets for supporting conclusions in a joint study by China and the Geneva-based World Health Organization on the origins of COVID- 19.
The study, released publicly in March, presented several hypotheses about how the pandemic started but no firm conclusions.
Perhaps Twitter and Facebook should now apply the new rules and start deleting China’s accounts in response to this situation?DONATE
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