After having solidified both the European and Asian fronts, although not completely, in an anti-Chinese direction, Biden is “turning Trump” on the issue of the origin of the virus, thanks to a U-turn made by many experts, including Anthony Fauci. The issue is one that everyone seemed to have gotten tired of—except those with an interest in orchestrating international friction—namely that of the possible role played by the Wuhan lab.
It is indeed crucial to ask for further investigation on the origin of the virus, considering that to date we do not know where it came from and whether there was an animal “carrier” or not. However, asking the CIA to find that out, as Biden did, seems quite a tall order, considering that the report produced by the State Department and revealed a few days ago by the Wall Street Journal did not clarify at all any of the issues related to the origin of the virus.
Biden’s move is a tactical one, which allows him to keep the pressure on China, and it doesn’t count as much of a negative for him if this request gives fuel to conspiracies once again. (For example, it’s one thing to say that some researcher at that laboratory got infected, but it’s another—and a much more serious allegation—to claim that China voluntarily manufactured a virus and then let it spread, as if it wasn’t going to hit the Chinese people first.)
But for Biden, this is enough to direct Western public opinion, now extremely one-sided, and to irritate Beijing, which in cases like these struggles mightily to respond in a calm way.
It’s almost comical that all this drama is happening while the first telephone contacts between the trade envoys of the United States and China are underway. The office of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai reported that the official discussed the process of “reviewing” trade relations with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce also reported on the conversation, saying the two officials discussed “issues of mutual interest.”
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