在不確定的美國情報報告後,應繼續調查新冠病毒起源

據《大紀元》記者:Adam Michael Molon  2021 年 8 月 28 日報道,2021 年8 月 29 日更新

2021年2 月 3 日,WHO負責調查COVID-19 起源的小組在中國湖北省武漢市進行訪問期間,
安保人員在武漢病毒研究所外守望。 (托馬斯·彼得/路透社)

華盛頓智庫布魯金斯學會外交政策高級研究員托馬斯·賴特(Wright)說,在美國情報機構本周早些時候向喬-拜登總統提交了關於這個問題的不確定評估後,對 COVID-19大流行起源的調查應該繼續進行。

“追根究底很重要,”賴特告訴大紀元時報。“想知道到底發生了什麼。”

賴特是新書《餘震:大流行政治和舊國際秩序的終結》的合著者,他與現任美國負責政策的國防部副部長科林·卡爾(Kahl)合著此書,他說他“並不感到驚訝”,鑒於中共國政府的阻撓和拒絕合作,關於大流行起源的最新報告尚無定論。

他說:“要進行適當的調查,你需要中國的合作,顯然他們一直拒絕這樣做,所以這讓事情變得非常困難。”通過武漢病毒研究所,或武漢華南海鮮市場,中國作為大流行源頭的地位,是顯而易見的。

“有壓倒性的證據表明,[大流行]起源於中國。我認為除了中共國政府之外,很少有人會……以任何方式對此提出異議。”

中共的行為“適得其反”

在《餘震》中,賴特和卡爾詳細介紹了中共在COVID-19 疫情爆發後的掩蓋,以及其利用大流行病,努力提高其國際地位,和相對於其他國家的權力。

賴特和卡爾指出,中共對 COVID-19 的第一反應,是對相關資訊的恐懼和壓制,並寫道“一位美國大使館官員告訴我們,他們從未見過中國官員像 [早期在大流行中] 那樣的沒有信心,恐懼和緊張……北京意識到,如果其最初反應拙劣的消息洩露,可能會損害中共。因此,習近平決心迅速採取行動,反對中國國內任何質疑官方說法的反對聲音。”

“毫無疑問,[中共國官員]……早在 2020 年 1 月就深感擔憂,”賴特說。“這種擔憂,導致該政權對此更加壓制和保密。”

儘管中共採取了鎮壓行動——這使得 COVID-19 在世界範圍內傳播,並阻礙了對這一流行病的有效防禦——但其他國家,尤其是歐洲國家,最初通過向中國提供大量援助,來表現出善意。幾個月後,當大流行席捲歐洲時,中共以自己的交易援助方式,回報了他的青睞,該方式也被用作該政權的宣傳活動。

賴特和卡爾在他們的書中指出,歐盟在大流行開始時,謹慎地向中國提供人道主義援助,特別注意避免給中共造成任何尷尬。他們寫道,法國總統埃馬紐埃爾·馬克龍告訴一名助手,中共國政府會記住這一善意的姿態。

然而,當歐洲本身正在與大流行作鬥爭時,“中共國政府似乎做出了回應,並開始提供援助——但中共國政府當局堅持,要求接受國大張旗鼓和公開聲明支持它的到來,使整個事情顯得明確。交易性的,”這本書說。

“在一個案例中,義大利向中共國捐贈了 30 噸設備,中共國後來歸還了這些設備,然後向義大利政府收取了費用。”

在愛爾蘭都柏林出生和長大的賴特說,中共在與大流行相關援助方面,其憤世嫉俗的行為,讓歐洲國家“有點震驚”。

“這對他們來說適得其反,”他說,指的是中共國政府。“這引起了不滿,其他國家也看到了他們的所作所為。

“特別是在歐洲,這導致其態度,甚至對華政策都發生了巨大變化。”

賴特和卡爾所引用的歐洲在政策上的變化,包括採取措施防止中共國公司,或國家支持的行為者,開發歐洲市場並以低價購買歐洲資產行為,包括將華為(中國電信公司)趕出歐洲的 5G 基礎設施,以及減少歐盟對中國的經濟依賴。

“[歐洲人] 開始更加自信地談論中共國的強硬態度,特別是它對香港學生抗議者的鎮壓,以及對新疆穆斯林維吾爾族人口的大規模鎮壓,”作者寫道。

聚焦臺灣的成功

雖然在《餘震》中普遍批評前總統唐納德·川普,但賴特和卡爾對政府於 2020 年 5 月啟動的“扭曲速度行動”表示讚賞,該行動導致在不到一年的時間內生產了 新冠疫苗。他們還指出,“與最常見的說法相反,川普政府的部份高級官員已經對中國持懷疑態度,他們比臺灣以外的任何其他政府,更快地意識到武漢正在發生之事的嚴重性。”

賴特在 2020 年 1 月的臺灣總統大選期間出訪臺灣,他指出這個民主的島嶼,迄今為止的 COVID-19 死亡人數不到 900 人,是成功管理大流行病的典範,並說它利用了從其經驗中吸取的教訓,2003 年的 SARS 流行病,也起源於中國。

“臺灣早期的所作所為真是非同尋常,”賴特說。

作者指出,臺灣是第一個在 2019 年 12 月 31 日向WHO 發出來自武漢的“非典型肺炎”警報的機構。“不幸的是,沒有人注意到臺北的警告,”該書稱。

他們還呼籲臺灣成為WHO的觀察員,臺灣從2009年到2016年一直擁有這一地位,直到2017年,以對華強硬立場著稱的蔡英文總統當選後,被北京阻撓。

賴特認為,允許臺灣以觀察員身份參與WHO是“至關重要的”,“因為很明顯,流行病是不分國界的。”

“臺灣是世界的一部分……它受到這些跨國威脅的影響,但它也有很多東西可以提供,”他補充道。

自由社會對中共“本質上”是威脅

賴特進一步討論了美國與共產主義中國之間持續的全面鬥爭。

“關於世界的組織方式,有兩種截然不同的想法,”他說。“在中國,中共國政府基本上希望,世界對中共和他們的政權來說,不要構成任何威脅。”

相比之下,美國及其盟國“想要一個對民主和自由社會安全的世界,”賴特說,並將這一願景,描述為對中共國政權“固有的威脅”。

賴特說,雖然世界變得越來越民族主義,對“如何應對跨國趨勢”的共識越來越少,但美國可以努力“與志同道合的國家和民主國家合作”。

賴特指出,在美國國內,面對極權主義中共國構成的威脅,是為數不多的兩黨政治問題之一。

他說:“我確實認為在許多事情上有重要的共同點,尤其是與中國的長期關係,我們在中共國政策的許多領域都取得了成功。”

賴特認為,美國只會繼續加強對抗中共國政權的措施。

他說:“我認為,任何國家,尤其是中共國,認為美國正在衰落,這是錯誤。”他補充說,美國有’持久的力量’。我認為中共國政府的目標不會得逞。”

文章來源:https://www.theepochtimes.com/investigation-into-covid-19-origin-should-continue-after-inconclusive-us-intelligence-report-expert_3968851.html?welcomeuser=1

翻譯:洛杉磯盤古農場 – Raul
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Security personnel keep watch outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology during the visit by the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, on Feb. 3, 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Investigation Into COVID-19 Origin Should Continue After Inconclusive US Intelligence Report: Expert

By Adam Michael Molon August 28, 2021 Updated: August 29, 2021,

The investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic should continue, said Thomas Wright, a senior fellow of foreign policy at Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution, after U.S. intelligence agencies earlier this week delivered an inconclusive assessment on the issue to President Joe Biden.

“It’s important to get to the bottom of it,” Wright told The Epoch Times. “To find out what actually happened.”

Wright, co-author of the new book “Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order,” which he wrote with now-U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, said that he is “not surprised” that the most recent report of the pandemic’s origins is inconclusive, given the Chinese regime’s obstructionism and refusal to cooperate.

“To have the proper investigation, you need Chinese cooperation, and obviously they’ve been withholding that, so that just makes it very difficult,” he said, adding that while there are still questions about whether the pandemic began with a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology or via a Wuhan wet market, China’s status as the source of the pandemic is clear.

“The evidence is overwhelming that [the pandemic] originated in China. I think very few people other than the Chinese government … would dispute that in any way.”

CCP’s Actions ‘Backfired’ on Them

In “Aftershocks,” Wright and Kahl detail the cover-up by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of the COVID-19 outbreak following its emergence in Wuhan, as well as its efforts to utilize the pandemic as a way to boost its international standing and power vis-à-vis other nations.

Wright and Kahl note that the CCP’s first reaction to COVID-19 was fear and suppression of related information, writing that “one US embassy official told us they had never seen Chinese officials as ‘unconfident, terrified, and nervous’ as they were [early on in the pandemic] … Beijing realized if news of its botched initial response leaked out, it could damage the Chinese Communist Party. So Xi [Jinping] was determined to act quickly against any dissenting voices inside China that questioned the official narrative.”

“There’s no question [Chinese officials] were … deeply worried back in January 2020,” Wright said. “That concern led the regime to be more repressive and secretive about it.”

Despite the CCP’s suppressive actions—which enabled the spread of COVID-19 around the world and hindered effective defense against the pandemic—other nations, particularly in Europe, initially showed goodwill through the provision of significant aid to China. Months later when the pandemic was ravaging Europe, the CCP returned the favor with its own transactional approach to aid that was also leveraged as a propaganda event for the regime.

Wright and Kahl note in their book that the European Union discreetly sent humanitarian assistance to China at the beginning of the pandemic, with special attention given to avoiding any embarrassment for the CCP. They write that French President Emmanuel Macron told an aide that the Chinese government would remember this gesture of goodwill.

However, by the time Europe itself was battling the pandemic, “China appeared to reciprocate and began to send aid—yet Chinese authorities insisted that its arrival be met with some fanfare and public declarations of support from recipient countries, making the whole thing appear explicitly transactional,” the book states.

“In one case, Italy donated thirty tons of equipment to China, which the Chinese later returned—and then charged the Italian government for it.”

Wright, who was born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland, said that the CCP’s cynical actions with respect to pandemic-related aid were “sort of shocking” for European nations.

“It backfired for them,” he said, referring to the Chinese regime. “That bred resentment, and other countries saw what they were doing.

“Especially in Europe, it resulted in a big change of attitude and even in policy toward China.”

European policy changes cited by Wright and Kahl include measures to prevent Chinese companies or state-backed actors from exploiting European markets and purchasing European assets at low prices, pushing the Chinese telecom company Huawei out of Europe’s 5G infrastructure, and diversifying relationships internationally to reduce the EU’s economic dependence on China.

“[Europeans] began to speak up more confidently about China’s assertiveness, particularly its crackdown on student protesters in Hong Kong and its mass repression of the Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang,” the authors write.

Spotlight on Taiwan’s Success

While generally critical of former President Donald Trump in “Aftershocks,” Wright and Kahl give credit to the administration’s Operation Warp Speed, launched in May 2020, which resulted in the production of COVID-19 vaccines in less than one year. They also note, “Contrary to the account that is most often given, some senior Trump administration officials, already suspicious of China, realized the magnitude of what was happening in Wuhan faster than any other government except Taiwan.”

Wright, who was present in Taiwan during its January 2020 presidential election, points to the democratic island, which has had fewer than 900 COVID-19 deaths to date, as a model of successful pandemic management, saying that it utilized lessons learned from its experience with the 2003 SARS epidemic, which also originated from China.

“It’s just extraordinary what Taiwan did early on,” Wright said.

The authors noted that Taiwan was the first body to alert the World Health Organization (WHO) of an “atypical pneumonia” from Wuhan on Dec. 31, 2019. “Unfortunately, no one paid any attention to Taipei’s warning,” the book states.

They also called on Taiwan to be admitted as an observer to the WHO, a status that it had from 2009 to 2016 until being blocked by Beijing in 2017 following the election of President Tsai Ing-wen, known for her tough-on-China stance.

Wright considers it “crucial” that Taiwan is allowed to participate in the WHO as an observer “because, obviously, pandemics don’t respect borders.”

“Taiwan is part of the world … and it’s affected by these transnational threats, but also it has a lot to offer,” he added.

Free Societies ‘Inherently Threatening’ to the CCP

Wright further discussed the continuing comprehensive struggle between the United States and communist China.

“There’s two very different ideas of the way the world should be organized,” he said. “China, the Chinese government basically wants the world safe for the CCP and for their regime.”

In contrast, the United States and its allies “want a world that is safe for democracy and free societies,” Wright said, describing this vision as “inherently threatening” to the Chinese regime.

While the world has become increasingly nationalistic, with less agreement on “how to tackle transnational trends,” Wright said, America can make efforts to “work with like-minded countries and democracies.”

Within the United States, confronting the threats posed by a totalitarian China is one of the few bipartisan issues in politics, Wright noted.

“I do think there is significant common ground on a number of things, particularly long-term relations with China,” he said. “We’ve had successes in a number of areas around China policy.”

Wright believes that the United States will only continue to strengthen its measures countering the Chinese regime.

“I think that any country, particularly China, that thinks the U.S. is in decline is making a mistake,” he said, adding that the United States has ‘abiding strength.’ “I don’t think the Chinese government will succeed in its objectives.”

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