A collection of internal Chinese government documents published by a Japanese magazine concerning the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city of Wuhanーin the central China province of Hubei in January 2020ーshow that from the start, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was determined to cover up the virus’s origins.
Japanese translations of the documents were carried in the February issue of the monthly Seiron magazine. They show how the Communist authorities tried to downplay evidence of how widespread the epidemic actually was and other information that ran counter to their official narrative. They are further proof of the “culture of secrecy” that characterizes the CCP regime led by President Xi Jinping.
The failure of Beijing to control the coronavirus in its early stages has led to a worldwide pandemic in which more than 90 million people have caught the virus and more than 1.9 million have died.
The documents obtained by Seiron, which date from early January, include a notification on the need to bolster operational control of biological specimens and other scientific activities related to efforts to handle a major infectious disease outbreak. The directives to strengthen epidemic prevention and control measures were sent by China’s National Health Commission (NHC) to all provincial-level governments (including cities directly controlled by the central government) and other relevant organizations on January 3.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a press conference on May 6 that the U.S. had asked China to provide details about “Patient 0” and where the epidemic actually started, information which he alleged the CCP alone had. He added, “China is refusing to provide us with the necessary information.” He also alluded to a Chinese government notification that showed it was “hiding the widespread contagion within Wuhan.” (Wuhan has a population of over 11 million.)
As the use of the expression “major infectious disease outbreak” in the title of one notification indicates, the Beijing authorities from the start were well aware that they were dealing with an extremely serious unknown virus. Obviously, relevant organizations, including biosafety labs handling research on germs that can cause diseases communicable among humans, were well aware that they were dealing with a virus that could be passed from person to person.
The notification gives specific directions in 10 categories that spell out procedures for the collection, transport, use and scientific research involving sample materials from cases of disease (blood, serum, mucus, tissue specimens taken from the bodies of patients who have died, organ tissue, etc.)
The Seiron editors draw special attention to the sixth item which states that organizations and individuals that had acquired infected biological samples from medical sources prior to the issuance of the notification should destroy them at once, or else send them to state-designated organizations for preservation and storage, while [documentation] of research activities and research results should be appropriately preserved.
Seiron editors explain that the reason they used the Japanese term inmetsu (“destroy” as in “destroy evidence”) was that the original Chinese phrasing “strongly suggested that all vestiges of the existence of related materials [outside the direct control of the central authorities] should be expunged.”
The Chinese government continues to cast doubt on the generally accepted theory that the novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan. Zhao Lijian, a “wolf warrior” diplomat, issued an incendiary Twitter message stating, “It might be the U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.” In addition, the Chinese Foreign Ministry recently has been strongly promoting the theory that the virus made its way to Wuhan on the packaging of frozen foods.
Nevertheless, that goes directly against the mention in the third item that “the samples from recent cases of pneumonia in Wuhan.” In other words, the Chinese authorities from the start were calling the disease “Wuhan pneumonia.” [COVID-19 affects the lungs and airways.]
A World Health Organization (WHO) team to investigate the origins of COVID-19 was scheduled to visit China this month. However, soon after the start of the new year, China aborted the trip. Even WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, known for his subservience to Chinese wishes, issued a statement in which he characterized the Chinese decision as “very disappointing.”
Actually, the directive from the Chinese authorities ordering the concealment of evidence concerning COVID-19 makes it quite evident that China always intended to interfere with the activities of international investigation teams.
A Chinese online news website operated by the Caixin financial media group already released excerpts from the notification in question in Chinese and English in February of 2020. Seiron editors also managed to get hold of and publish a document relating how a Chinese bigwig reprimanded the company’s president for Caixin’s coronavirus coverage.
The document concluded as follows: “This is the last time I’ll give you advice. You’d be wise not to make the same mistake several other publications have in the past.” In other words, this was a boldfaced threat to stop Caixin from publishing.
Publication of this document by Seiron constitutes a real scoop.
“This is an extremely important document,” says Tadahiro Miyazaki, a commentator well versed in Chinese affairs. “There had already been news stories about the Chinese authorities concealing information about the virus, but Seiron’s acquisition and reporting on these written orders once again reaffirmed the secretive and irresponsible character of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Miyazaki added, “The impact on countries around the world has been immense, yet China continues to stick to the lie that ‘nothing happened.’”
[Excerpted from a Yukan Fuji article.]