BEIJING - The state-run Global Times has reported about a petition on the White House website urging the US government to release more information on the suspension of an infectious disease research lab under the Pentagon.

The Global Times noted that Chinese internet users and experts are calling for more information on whether The Fort Detrick laboratory was linked to the novel coronavirus, citing coincidental events between the lab’s closure and the outbreak of Covid-19.

It noted many English-language news reports about the closure of Fort Detrick were deleted recently, raising “suspicions over the lab's ‘relationship’ with the novel coronavirus”.

This is the latest in a series of remarks by Chinese diplomats and the state media fuelling a theory that the virus did not originate in China, but was only found there.

Last week, the official Xinhua news agency claimed that the epidemic was first reported in China but “that does not mean it necessarily originated in China”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian has even tweeted that “it might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan”.(FA)