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Will the origins of coronavirus remain buried forever in secrets and lies?

While the world battles to control Covid, an international team has arrived in China to investigate the source. But with evidence provided by Chinese officials, will we ever get to the truth? Kim Sengupta reports

Wednesday 27 January 2021 17:16 GMT
Xi Jinping is ‘proud of our great motherland … and our unyielding national spirit’
Xi Jinping is ‘proud of our great motherland … and our unyielding national spirit’ (AFP via Getty)

The streets thronged with families, buildings were lit up in crimson, balloons in bright colours rose to the skies lit up by spotlights, and there was huge cheers as the clock struck midnight. The lavish celebrations in Wuhan were very different from the subdued way most of the world marked the new year in the time of coronavirus.

China’s president gave an exultant speech bringing in the new decade. Declaring victory against Covid in a televised speech, he called for the nation to rally further behind the ruling Communist Party. “I am proud of our great motherland and people as well as the unyielding national spirit. With solidarity and resilience, we wrote the epic of our fight against the pandemic,” said XI Jinping.  There was just one line of sympathy for “all the unfortunate ones infected with the coronavirus”, in the 12-minute speech.  

The Party mouthpiece, Global Times newspaper, proclaimed on the same day: “From Wuhan to Beijing, Dalian to Urumqi, China has managed to stop the viral spread in the fastest speed to ensure people's health; from city-wide lockdowns to precise prevention strategies, the central government has found ways to minimally disrupt people's lives while fighting the virus…”  

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