China demands Elon Musk stop promoting COVID-19 lab leak theory: report
The Chinese Communist Party called out Twitter owner Elon Musk on Tuesday for pushing the hypothesis that the COVID-19 pandemic was triggered by the virus escaping from a research lab in Wuhan.
The United States Department of Energy and the Federal Bureau of Investigation both confirmed over the weekend that they have reason to believe that was the case. And although the Energy Department conceded that its assessment was "low confidence," the story nonetheless went viral, particularly amongst conservatives, who maintained throughout the crisis that SARS-Cov-2 was of unnatural origin.
According to CNBC Beijing Bureau Chief and Senior Correspondent Eunice Yoon, the Chinese government is concerned that these suspicions could scare off future foreign financial ventures in Chinese markets.
READ MORE: Energy Department suspects lab leak may have caused COVID-19 pandemic: report
"Well, the reminder today was directed towards Elon Musk. The Tesla founder had been retweeting posts promoting the theory that coronavirus originated from a Wuhan lab. Well, the issue is very sensitive here in China, and so the Communist Party paper, the Global Times, warned on its social media site that he could be 'breaking the pot of China,'" Yoon reported.
"This is a Chinese saying that's similar to 'biting the hand that feeds you.' Now, this warning comes as Chinese officials both on a, a high level as well as on a lower level of the government are really pulling out all the stops to try to attract US investment into China," Yoon said, noting that "the directive has come all the way from the top, from President Xi Jinping, who's been saying that there should be greater effort to attract more and welcome more foreign capital, as well as foreign investment."
Watch below or at this link.
READ MORE: China hits back at US over COVID-19 origins and Russia-related sanctions
CNBC's full report is available here.
- COVID-19 origins: Investigating a 'complex and grave situation' inside a Wuhan lab ›
- Emerging COVID-19 crisis in China 'could shake the world': WaPo Editorial Board ›
- 'A cascade effect': Leading Spanish virologist explains why China’s COVID-19 surge is 'worrisome' ›