China ‘concealed’ coronavirus from West and MUST take responsibility, says ex-MI6 chief


Sir John Sawers said Beijing had hidden the disease when it first surfaced and the World Health Organisation had failed to stand up to them.

Sir John said that Huawei should be allowed access to the UK’s 5G network

Wuhan has been fumigated as the city lifts lockdown restrictions

Sir John told BBC Radio 4: “There is a deep anger in America at what they see as having been inflicted on us all by China, and China is evading a good deal of responsibility for the virus.”

He said China had “failed to deal” with COVID-19 when people first started getting sick in Wuhan.

The world could not simply turn its back on China as it grapples with the pandemic, he said.

“At the same time, we cannot find a way out of this without working with China… The world will not be the same after the virus as it was before”.

Sir John added: “Intelligence is about acquiring information which has been concealed from you by other states and other actors.

“There was a brief period in December and January when the Chinese were indeed concealing this from the West.”

He said China was increasingly becoming “completely at odds” with Western nations and US President Donald Trump should lay the blame at China’s feet, not the World Health Organisation’s.

“It would be better to hold China responsible for those issues than the WHO… heads of UN agencies are wary of offending one of the major powers

“But that doesn’t excuse the head of the WHO for failing to stand up for the facts, the data, and making the right demands of China.

“I think the WHO has got serious questions to answer about its performance, but anger should be directed against China rather than the UN agencies.”

Mr Trump has revoked all US funding for the WHO as America plunges into one of the worst global outbreaks of coronavirus.

He said the WHO had given America “faulty” advice on closing their borders to China.

Mr Trump said the health body had “blew it” and failed to make China deal with the severity of the problem and truthfully report case loads.

China’s official death tolls have been criticised as massively underreported.

Wuhan locals claim the real death toll in the city was actually 42,000 – ten times the number reported by authorities. 

One of the Wuhan doctors who first tried to warn the world of what would become a pandemic, was told by authorities he would be punished for telling the truth before he died of the virus.

The number of cases of coronavirus in China have been steadily flattening after drastic measures were put in place, sentencing the entire country to their homes.

China hadn’t reported more than 100 new cases a day in weeks, but fears over a “second wave” of infections were sparked after a jump to 108 new cases in a day. 

In Wuhan, life has started to return to normal, and the now infamous wet markets where the virus is thought to have originated have been given the green light by the WHO to reopen.

Former Foreign Secretary Lord William Hague has also warned about becoming too reliant on China.

He said at an event last night that the West’s policy towards China was “incoherent and ineffective”.

“This crisis reinforces the case for two major pillars to be established for Western policy towards China.”

“The first arises from the fact that China isn’t going to play by our rules, and that means we cannot be strategically dependent on China in many respects including technology.

“The other important pillar arises from the fact that we can’t solve global problems without China.. the COVID-19 crisis is an example of such a dramatic world crisis.”

“We can’t be dependent on China, but we can’t be without a framework of cooperation with China.”

Lord Hague said he doubted whether there would be an international inquiry into coronavirus, but that the world should learn to change its reliance on Chinese supply chains.

Full protective gear on Wuhan subways