REPORT: Chinese scientists discussed weaponizing SARS coronaviruses in 2015

May 24, 2021

A research paper written by Chinese scientists and health officials in 2015 stated that SARS coronaviruses were a “new era of genetic weapons” that could be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponized and unleashed, The Australian reported earlier this month.

The paper titled ‘The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons’ suggested that “World War Three” would be fought with biological weapons.

The document revealed that Chinese military scientists were discussing the weaponization of SARS coronaviruses, five years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The document was originally obtained by the US State Department during its probe into the origins of Covid-19 and is reported to be a part of an upcoming investigative book What Really Happened in Wuhan by Australian journalist Sharri Markson.

Among the authors of the research paper were Lee Feng, former deputy director of China’s Bureau of Epidemic Prevention, and Xu Dezhong, the former chief of China’s SARS Epidemic Analysis Expert Group, the Australian media claimed.

The document shows the Chinese officials describing SARS coronaviruses as heralding a “new era of genetic weapons” that can be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponized and unleashed in a way never seen before”, The Australian reported.

Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), told that the document is as close to a “smoking gun” as we’ve got.

“I think this is significant because it clearly shows that Chinese scientists were thinking about military application for different strains of the coronavirus and thinking about how it could be deployed,” Jennings said.

“It begins to firm up the possibility that what we have here is the accidental release of a pathogen for military use,” Jennings added.

He also said that the document may explain why China has been so reluctant for outside investigations into the origins of COVID-19. “If this was a case of transmission from a wet market it would be in China’s interest to co-operate … we’ve had the opposite of that.”

Robert Potter, a cyber security specialist who analyses leaked Chinese government documents, was asked by The Australian to verify the paper.

He says the document appears legitimate, “We reached a high confidence conclusion that it was genuine … It’s not fake but it`s up to someone else to interpret how serious it is,” Potter said.

“It emerged in the last few years … they (China) will almost certainly try to remove it now it’s been covered.”

Potter further stated that it isn’t unusual to see Chinese research papers discussing areas that they’re behind on and need to make progress in.

“It’s a really interesting article to show what their scientific researchers are thinking,” he added.

Chinese state-run media down-played the The Australian‘s reporting, calling the dispatch a ‘smear’ tactic. The CPP controlled Global Times argued the “leaked document mentioned by The Australian” was in fact a book, pointing to an item under the same title published by military doctor Xu Dezhong and listed sale on Amazon, though currently out of stock.

The main thrust of the book, according to the Global Times, is in fact that the 2002 and 2004 SARS epidemics in China originated from biological weapon labs abroad.

“Conspiracies cannot be ruled out that terrorists abroad were developing contemporary genetic weapons to fight against China,” said the paper, citing excerpts from the book.

Without providing any evidence, the Global Times redirected attention away from China by suggesting COIVD-19 may have originated at a US military research institute at Fort Detrick. 

Categories: covid

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