British Foreign Secretary Promised China He Wouldn’t ‘Politicise’ the Wuhan Coronavirus

BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 15: Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, one of the members of new seven-seat Politburo Standing Committee, greets the media at the Great Hall of the People on November 15, 2012 in Beijing, China. China's ruling Communist Party today revealed the new Politburo Standing Committee after its …
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The Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom has reportedly promised his counterpart in Beijing that the British government will not “politicise” the Wuhan virus responsible for the global pandemic.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab, who was deputised as acting prime minister while Boris Johnson is incapacitated with the coronavirus, is reported to have “fully agreed” with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that origin of the virus is “scientific issue that requires professional and science-based assessment”.

The Chinese Embassy in London released a statement on its website detailing a call that took place between Mr Raab and the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, who said that: “Alarmingly, some people are attempting to politicise the epidemic, label the virus and stigmatise China.”

The statement then reports that Mr Raab “expressed the UK’s firm opposition to politicising the outbreak and fully agrees with China that the source of the virus is a scientific issue that requires professional and science-based assessment.”

The disclosure from the Chinese Embassy came in response to an article published in The Mail on Sunday, which reported a theory that suggests the COVID-19 virus emerged from a high-security biochemical lab in Wuhan is “no longer being discounted” by officials in the British government.

A member of the Cobra emergency task force said told the paper that: “There is a credible alternative view [to the zoonotic theory] based on the nature of the virus. Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted.”

The current scientific consensus is that the virus originated in a “wet market” in the city of Wuhan, where wild animals are sold live. However, the Chinese Communist Party has been actively spreading disinformation about the origin of the virus online according to British Intelligence services, The Times reports.

In March, the Global Times, a mouthpiece for the CCP, ran an article claiming that the coronavirus was created in an American military-run research laboratory, sparking anger and “fury” at the top levels of the British government.

The disinformation campaign conducted by the communist state has led to increased calls for a re-evaluation between the UK and China, particularly in regards to the status of the deal with Huawei that permitted the Chinese telecom to help build the nation’s 5G network.

During the nationwide lockdown, the British economy has been heavily reliant on mobile networks and broadband connections to businesses operational.

On Monday, Victor Zhang, the Vice President of Huawei, penned an open letter to the British public, claiming that the company is “striving around the clock to keep Britain connected” during the pandemic.

Zhang went on to say that the crisis demonstrated disparities between towns and cities and more rural areas of the country, which he claims are “stuck in a digital slow lane”. He called on the British government to install “secure and resilient GigaBit broadband networks” with the help of the Chinese company.

In response to Mr Zhang’s letter, Tory MP Bob Seely said that the need for fast internet is important but that it should not “negate security concerns”.

“There’s going to be a rethink in our relationship with China, whether that’s around technology transfer, trusting China with health and other data, or our security in the round — our health, economic and political security,” Mr Seely said.

“We have to work together around the globe, but if China starts using pandemics for political or economic gain, that undermines the spirit of international co-operation.”

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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