The New York TimesThe New York Times

Rejecting Covid-19 Inquiry, China Peddles Conspiracy Theories Blaming US

By Austin Ramzy, Amy Chang Chien

25 Aug 2021 · 6 min read

When a conspiracy theory started circulating in China suggesting that the coronavirus escaped from an American military lab, it had largely stayed on the fringe. Now, the ruling Communist Party has propelled the idea firmly into the mainstream.

This week, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman repeatedly used an official podium to elevate unproven ideas that the coronavirus may have first leaked from a research facility in Fort Detrick, Md. A Communist Party publication, the Global Times, started an online petition in July calling for that lab to be investigated and said it gathered more than 25 million signatures.

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