The former head of MI6, the United Kingdom’s foreign intelligence service, has asserted that the coronavirus “started as an accident” in a Chinese laboratory and that President Trump’s “hardline” China policy is “right.”
Speaking on the Telegraph’s podcast ‘Planet Normal’, Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6 from 1999 to 2004, is the latest voice to corroborate reports on coronavirus’ man-made origins. Many – including President Trump – have alleged the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the virus’ source since it’s located where the disease first spread.
Dearlove describes a recent study arguing the virus could “not have occurred naturally” and was instead “engineered in a laboratory” as a “very important contribution to a debate which is now starting about how the virus evolved and how it got out and broke out as a pandemic.” He appears to bolster the credibility of the article, touting the authors’ as two “world-leading virologists,” the “prestigious journal” it’s published in, and has been “peer-reviewed extensively.”
He even explicitly states the coronavirus “started as an accident,” adding “I think there’s a lot more that’s going to come out over the course of the next month, couple of months.”
He also accuses the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of not being forthright with its coronavirus data, alleging it has “not published the true figures”:
It’s definitely trying to control the narrative, and I think in looking at the leadership’s reaction it has also been making the best of the situation for which it was largely responsible for China and Chinese interests. I think that there is a very strong effort that is centrally organized to control how China is regarded in the aftermath of the pandemic in particular.
While the international community’s list of grievances against the CCP is long, Dearlove points to China birthing the virus “as an accident” as the latest flashpoint. In light of these developments, he insists President Trump’s tough stance on China as “right” and deserving of “support”:
There’s a lot about his China policy that is right because we need an explanation from the Chinese as to what happened. We need an international inquiry. And yes I do on this issue agree with Trump’s hardline, and I think we should support it.
He also emphasizes that a May 21st White House Report condemning the CCP’s predatory economic policies, military buildup, disinformation campaigns, and human rights violations was “correct,” reflecting the fact “we have to modulate our relationship with the Chinese in the light of the type of regime that it is and not kid ourselves it’s something different.”
Parroting President Trump, he advocates against continued economic and technological dependence on China and even floats the idea of reparations:
We need to go in reverse. It’s important we do not put any of our critical infrastructure in the hands of Chinese interests so telecommunications, Huawei, nuclear power stations, and then things that we require and need in the crisis like PPE. […] I think there will be a complete reassessment of this situation for the UK and for many other countries in the aftermath of the pandemic.