China continues to engage in biological warfare acts: US : The Tribune India

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China continues to engage in biological warfare acts: US

China continues to engage  in biological warfare acts: US

Security personnel keep watch at Wuhan Institute of Virology. file

Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, April 16

China continues to engage in biological activities with potential ‘biological warfare’ (BW) applications, including possible development of toxins for military purposes, says a report of the US State Department.

The report said: “China had reportedly weaponised ricin, botulinum toxins, and the causative agents of anthrax, cholera, plague and tularemia, as part of its historical biological warfare programme”.

The report is created annually on ‘Compliance with Arms Control, Non-proliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments’. The report takes into account the year 2023 and was uploaded on Tuesday. Flagging China’s activities, the report said the US does not have sufficient information to determine whether China has fulfilled its obligation to eliminate its historical biological warfare programme.

China became a party to the biological warfare convention (BWC) in 1984, however, it never disclosed that it ever pursued an offensive BW programme, the report said. People Liberation Army, China, research organisations have been conducting and directing military research related to dual-use marine toxins.

Military medical institutions conducted toxin and biotechnology research and development with potential BW applications, the report said, which raises concern regarding the China’s compliance with the BWC that requires that states “never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or retain …microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes.”

The US assesses that China possessed an offensive BW programme from the early 1950s to at least the late 1980s. There is no available information to demonstrate that the China took steps to destroy all items.

US to help 50 nations counter pandemics

  • US President Joe Biden’s administration will help 50 countries identify and respond to infectious diseases, with the goal of preventing pandemics like the Covid-19 outbreak that suddenly halted normal life around the globe in 2020
  • US officials will offer support in the countries, most of them located in Africa and Asia, to develop better testing, surveillance, communication and preparedness for such outbreaks

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


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