China’s Foreign Ministry accused the United States military on Tuesday of terrifying the world with mysterious biological weapons experiments, demanding the U.S. “take the concerns of the international community seriously” and cease the alleged research.
The Communist Party has repeatedly hinted at the Chinese coronavirus pandemic being the product of an accident at a U.S. Army facility, providing no evidence for the outlandish claim. No cases of coronavirus infection have been documented anywhere else before those in late 2019 in Wuhan, central China.
One Chinese official, senior Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, attempted to claim that lung injuries diagnosed last year in Americans who use e-cigarettes were secret Chinese coronavirus cases, despite no evidence that those injuries were contagious and patients were not isolated. The ease with which the Chinese coronavirus passes from person to person has facilitated a global spread affecting at least 18 million people.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin did not mention the coronavirus pandemic in his screed against American biological research on Tuesday. Instead, he claimed that American experiments were “not transparent” and “not safe,” without offering specifics.
Wang made his remarks in response to a bizarre question from Beijing Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League of China. The question claimed that “a large number of social groups” were concerned about joint U.S. and South Korean military activity regarding biological weapons research, which exists because of evidence that North Korea is developing biological weapons. The only recent major report claiming such concerns existed surfaced in Xinhua, the official Chinese state news agency, which claimed America was threatening the world with “a scandalous program it claims to be a defense system against biochemical threat.”
In reality, the program — the Joint United States Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition Advanced Technology Demonstration — may have helped South Korea’s internationally lauded response to the pandemic, as it requires drills in responding to biological attacks, according to a former Obama administration official. South Korean officials, even under left-wing President Moon Jae-in, have embraced military cooperation with Washington and are scheduled to participate in joint exercises before the end of summer.
Wang nonetheless treated the Beijing Youth Daily‘s concerns as legitimate.
“The U.S. has conducted activities of biological militarization in many countries which have indeed caused widespread skepticism and opposition,” Wang claimed. “The reasons are as follows: first, those US biological militarization activities are not transparent. Many of the countries involved have no idea what the US military labs are doing.”
“Second, they are not safe. Many of their activities are closely related to high-risk pathogens. If any accident occurs, it will have disastrous consequences for the country concerned, its neighbors and the whole world,” Wang added. “Third, they are unjustified.”
“Looking around, only the U.S., spearheaded by its military, is building biological labs around the world and collecting without restraint biological resources abroad,” Wang contended, complaining also that American officials have opposed creating a protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which the U.S. signed, that would allow rogue states like China access to U.S. military facilities.
“We urge the U.S. side to be a responsible party, take the concerns of the international community seriously, clarify its overseas biological militarization activities, earnestly fulfill its BWC obligations, and stop being the only one that stands in the way of the negotiations on a BWC verification protocol,” Wang concluded.
Wang’s claim that only the United States is working to build biological laboratories comes three months after Chinese Communist Party officials announced a plan to build dozens of high-level biosecurity laboratories within China’s borders — as many as 30 at the second-highest bio-security level and at least one at the top, which would equipment to handle the most dangerous pathogens. China only currently has one such lab: the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
American officials have openly speculated that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic began not with natural transmission from an animal in the streets of Wuhan but at the virology facility.
“[T]he origin of this virus, the nature of it, how it got out into the wild in the way that it did, is something we still have lots of unanswered questions about,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in May. “I’ve seen evidence that this likely came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. I’m happy to see other evidence that disproves that. We should get to the bottom of it.”
Breitbart News revealed in April that U.S. officials are formally investigating the Wuhan Institute of Virology to see if it played a role in the pandemic.
Chinese communist officials have adamantly denied any relationship between the laboratory and pandemic, one that could have been more easily clarified if Party officials had not “disinfected” the wild meat and seafood market where Beijing originally claimed the virus began spreading. By “disinfecting” the area, officials ensured no evidence existed that could lead epidemiologists to the source.
The Foreign Ministry has instead blamed a currently closed U.S. Army laboratory in Maryland for the pandemic.
“When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals?” Zhao Lijian, another Foreign Ministry spokesman, asked on Twitter in March. “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”
The state-run Global Times propaganda outlet fleshed out the Fort Detrick, Maryland, theory. The Foreign Ministry later suggested that cases of “e-cigarette disease,” a series of lung injuries affiliated with vaping using cheaply made products from China, could be cases of Chinese coronavirus. Studies on patients with vaping lung injuries have shown that no pathogen causes them and they are not carrying any contagious disease; doctors have treated them without protective gear and not gotten sick.