Taiwan overflight "illegal and provocative"
The central government strongly condemned a United States military aircraft overflying Taiwan, saying on Thursday it will take "any measures necessary" to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests.
It was reported that a US Navy C-40A Clipper passenger transport aircraft flew over Taiwan's western coast on Tuesday. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the overflight is a serious violation of international law and basic norms guiding international relations.
"We urge the US to observe the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, and stop such illegal and provocative moves immediately," Hua said.
Zhu Fenglian, spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Thursday the overflight is an illegal act and a serious provocation.
The Democratic Progressive Party colluded with outside forces to violate China's sovereignty and security, undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and harmed the safety and well-being of the people on the island, Zhu said.
"We have the resolve, will and ability to resolutely safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests," Zhu added, warning the DPP authorities not to miscalculate.
In another development, Beijing dismissed a Harvard Medical School study that tracked parking lot volume of hospitals in Wuhan and search query volumes in a discussion of COVID-19 activity, saying the study was "full of loopholes".
It is evidence that some people in the US are formulating and spreading disinformation against China, which should be condemned by the international community, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua said on Thursday.
The study was submitted to Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard. The academic platform is an open-access depository of academic opinions, instead of a publication subject to strict peer review, Hua said on Thursday.
"Does this paper represent the official opinion ... of Harvard Medical School?" she asked.
Hua hinted that there is doubt as to the objectivity of the research. "One of the authors of the paper is a contributor to the American Broadcasting Company, which made an exclusive report about the paper," she said, adding that the report was done "even before the prerelease of the paper".
Also, the volume of search queries for "cough" and "diarrhea", also vital evidence the study put forward, is a weak indicator of when and where COVID-19 broke out.
"I am aware that some media outlets in China have done in-depth investigations and found that the increase of the search query volumes for the two terms in September 2019 was smaller than those in the same period of 2017 and 2018," she said.
The search query statistics were collected on Baidu, a Chinese search engine.
The search engine company posted its own search query figures on its official weibo account on Wednesday and said it is "very far-fetched and not precise to draw a conclusion about the virus from hospital traffic in Wuhan and the search query volume for 'cough' and 'diarrhea'".
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