There seems to be an odd lack of curiosity about one aspect of the coronavirus: not where did it come from, as in "which lab"? Some indeed are asking about that. But rather, why were scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and elsewhere in China working for decades on research that clearly indicates an offensive biological weapons program?
The Communist Chinese Party (CCP) that rules the People's Republic of China (PRC) is perfectly content that such questions not be raised. In fact, on May 6, the PRC ambassador to the United Nations, Chen Xu, told reporters exactly that. China, he said "would not allow the international community to investigate the source of the novel coronavirus until after a 'final victory' against the disease." Given that COVID-19 may be with us for quite some time, that sounds like an indefinite postponement.
Unfortunately, U.S. government officials are not clarifying matters. Speaking May 3 on the ABC News program This Week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo answered that he did not disagree with experts who say the SARS-nCoV is manmade and then just moments later, that he agreed with a statement from the Office of the Director of National Security (ODNI) that the IC "concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified." With CCP propaganda efforts in full overdrive, it is important that USG leadership speak openly and clearly about Beijing's advanced Biological Weapons Program (BWP). This particular coronavirus may have escaped a CCP lab accidentally, but its creation was anything but unintentional.
Let's begin with the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Its full name is the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction." It opened for signatures in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. This multilateral disarmament treaty banned all acquisition, development, production, stockpiling or transfer of any BW agents or toxins "that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes." President Richard Nixon ended the U.S. offensive BW program in 1969 and the U.S. was among the initial signatories in 1972, with official ratification in 1975. China has been a signatory to the BW Convention since November 15, 1984. The coronavirus is a disease-causing microorganism that falls under BWC prohibition for development as a biological weapon.
Although open source information about the CCP's offensive BWP is difficult to come by, USG reports and other credible sources point to an active, large, advanced program. For example, in its January 2001 report, "Proliferation: Threat and Response," the Pentagon stated that "China is believed to possess an offensive biological warfare capability based on technology developed prior to its accession to the BWC in 1984."
Dany Shoham is a former Israeli military intelligence official who holds a doctorate in medical microbiology. Currently, he works with the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar Ilan University, Israel. His studies focus on China's BW program. He believes that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Beijing's only declared BSL-4 laboratory, is linked to China's covert bio-weapons program. In April 2015, Shoham published a study in the Journal of Defense Studies titled "China's Biological Warfare Programme: An Integrative Study with Special Reference to Biological Weapons Capabilities." The study profiled China's BW program with special reference to its capabilities in defense and military establishments. The study concluded that Beijing has "12 facilities affiliated with the defence establishment, plus 30 facilities affiliated with the PLA, that are involved in research, development, production, testing or storage of BW." Even allowing that there may be overlap among these facilities, 42 is a large number.
An August 2019 report from the Department of State on "Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments" in very diplomatic language raised concerns about whether China were complying with its BWC commitments. The report states that the U.S. "assesses that China possessed an offensive BW program from the early 1950s to at least the late 1980s." That would put the date of noncompliance well past the PRC's 1984 ratification of the BWC.
In a January 26 article for The Washington Times, Bill Gertz cited Dany Shoham on the likelihood that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a key facility in China's BW program, which comprises both offensive and defensive elements, despite public declarations that it is only defensive. One of the clearest indicators that Wuhan Institute researchers were working on BW-related coronaviruses is the December 2015 "A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence," which describes "gain of function" efforts that created a hybrid virus non-existent in nature.
To put this in perspective, it is important to understand how Xi Jinping and the CCP's top leadership think. They are steeped in thousands of years of Chinese history and warfare. Sun Tzu's 500 B.C "Art of War" is studied alongside the 1999 "Unrestricted Warfare." Let's conclude here with the secret speech of Chi Haotian, who was China's Defense Minister from 1993 to 2003 and also Vice Chairman of the CCP's Central Military Commission. In this chilling speech, translated into English in 2005, Gen. Chi openly referred to the CCP's intention to militarily defeat, occupy, and colonize the U.S. And what of 330 million Americans? The CCP will be "using special means to 'clean up' America", i.e., "new bio-weapons."
Clare M. Lopez is the Founder/President of Lopez Liberty LLC. She formerly served as Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy and was a career CIA operations officer.
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