Increasingly scientific experts have begun to question China’s labs for spreading the COVID virus – that scientists call SARS-Cov-2 virus or SARS2 in short – either by design or default. In fact, for some of us, the signs that the virus came from the Chinese were obvious a year ago, as I argued in my essay in OPEN magazine on April 3, 2020 (titled ‘Was it Lab born?).
Earlier this month, a group of leading UK and US scientists called for more investigation to determine the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the theory of an accidental release from a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Former US President, Donald Trump supported this view, and not without reason.
Though the Chinese continue to insist that the SARS2 (COVID) Virus is said to have originated in the Huanan wet animal markets in the city of Wuhan, but few people cared to highlight the fact that less than a kilometre away from the animal market was the Wuhan Institute of Virology which is China’s only and highest-rated Level 4 microbiology lab, that could have been responsible for the spread of the deadly coronavirus germs that led to the pandemic.
But now, a noted British science writer Nicholas Wade has argued in the prestigious Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists early this month. Mr Wade has raised several questions on the origin of the novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and why it could have emerged from experiments in China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Nicholas Wade argues that “for the lab escape scenario, a Wuhan origin for the virus is a no-brainer. Wuhan is home to China’s leading centre of coronavirus research where researchers were genetically engineering bat coronaviruses to attack human cells. They were doing so under the minimal safety conditions of a BSL2 lab. If a virus with the unexpected infectiousness of SARS2 had been generated there, its escape would be no surprise,” he said.
Furthermore, he writes that “It’s documented that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were doing gain-of-function experiments designed to make coronaviruses infect human cells and humanized mice. This is exactly the kind of experiment from which a SARS2-like virus could have emerged. The researchers were not vaccinated against the viruses under study, and they were working in the minimal safety conditions of a BSL2 laboratory. So escape of a virus would not be at all surprising,” he said.
The challenge for the scientific community is to get access to China’s labs to check and confirm all their assumptions. And that China is unwilling to provide. Instead, the Chinese authorities had first delayed the announcement of the virus, and then even ensured that pliable officials of the WHO (including, as some allege, the Director of the WHO) gave them a certificate that the virus spread from the animals in Wuhan.
But Nicholas Wade argues that the Lab Virus was – well adapted to humans – as was expected to grow in humans. It thus leads us to the assumption that the SARS2 virus was China’s unleashing of “Unrestricted Warfare” on our world. And this could’ve been initiated after then US President Trump had placed several economic barriers on China’s exports. This upset Beijing plans for rapid economic growth, in a world order – that encouraged China’s economic growth – that China had come to take for granted.
In a book now being often quoted titled Unrestricted Warfare (1999), its authors—both PLA Colonels—had argued that ‘the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden’, such as even the use of a Virus. This book proposes tactics for developing countries, in particular China, to compensate for their military inferiority vis-à-vis the US during times of conflict.
It advocates hacking into websites, targeting financial institutions, terrorism, using the media, as well as conducting urban warfare.
However, while the book suggests a milder approach against weaker countries, the Chinese Communist Party wants to win over with economic initiatives by targeting powerful countries like the US since ‘The United States breaks [UN rules] and makes new ones when these rules don’t suit [its purposes]’. Whether this work has the full blessing of the Chinese leadership isn’t yet known, but the Chinese have often used indirect messaging, such as this book, to convey their plans to their adversaries. As Sun Tzu had said: ‘If the enemy expects you to do three things, do the fourth.’
Understanding China’s gameplan
Another publication the Weekend Australian had recently written that a document by Chinese scientists and health officials before the pandemic in 2015 stated, that SARS Coronavirus was a “new era of genetic weapons” that could be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponized and unleashed, reported Weekend Australian.
It further goes to state that the paper titled ‘The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bio-weapons’ could see World War 3 being fought with biological weapons, and not nuclear weapons as had been feared by strategic affairs experts, until now. This document revealed that Chinese military scientists were discussing the weaponization of SARS coronaviruses five years before the COVID-19 pandemic! (This report was published by the Weekend Australian in news.com.au.)
Robert Potter, a cybersecurity specialist who analyses leaked Chinese government documents, was asked by The Australian publication to verify the Chinese paper, and he stated that the document surely wasn’t fake, reported news.com.au.
And Peter Jennings, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), told news.com.au that the document “clearly shows that Chinese scientists were thinking about military application for different strains of the coronavirus and thinking about how it could be deployed,”. And he then added, that “It begins to firm up the possibility that what we have here is the accidental release of a pathogen for military use.” No wonder that China has been so reluctant for outside investigations into the origins of COVID-19. This was also reported by The Economist.
A year ago, when the virus had begun to spread, evidence of China’s strategy had been identified by authorities in the US, when in late January 2020, the US Department of Justice announced the arrest of a Harvard University professor, Charles Lieber (Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology), for receiving $50,000 per month and another $158,000 for other expenses as well as for his affiliation with the Wuhan University of Technology.
He was also running a multi-million-dollar programme to entice other scientists to share their research expertise with China. Also arrested was a female researcher, Yen Ching Ye, of Boston University (Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering), who had hidden her connections with the PLA as a lieutenant. A third Chinese national, Jheng Zhao Zang, was arrested just as he was boarding his flight to China with 21 vials of biological materials in his baggage stolen from his American university’s research centre. His research was sponsored by Harvard University.
These arrests are part of the US Department of Justice’s ‘China Initiative’ to stop and prosecute Chinese economic espionage and theft of intellectual property, to stop the long-term Chinese campaign to steal US technologies. The US Attorney General had last year referred to China as America’s ‘primary rival’. And the FBI director has stated that “no country poses a greater counterintelligence threat to the US than China”. But now, with hundreds of thousands of people dead in the West, there is bound to be a concern in other European countries as well about what appears to be part of China’s ruthless agenda to emerge as the primary power in the world.
However, China isn’t willing to sit quietly. It had blamed the US for bringing the virus into China, with Iran echoing its line that the US has spread the deadly virus to cripple the Chinese economy. On the face of it, this could be justified on the grounds that the loss to China’s economy was initially projected to be around $348 billion and to the US economy about $15 billion. But those figures have now changed, even though other countries like the UK, are nowhere near an economic recovery.
China isn’t willing to sit quietly. It had blamed the US for bringing the virus into China, with Iran echoing its line that the US has spread the deadly virus to cripple the Chinese economy.
But as China is—and will remain—the manufacturing centre for much of the world and will be back in demand for years to come, many countries are unwilling to say upfront that China has initiated the pandemic. The Chinese, however, it should be noted, always work to a plan and within a grand design laid out by the country’s leadership. In 2017, China’s paramount leader, Xi Jinping, had defined his ‘vision’ for China, in a three-and-a-half-hour speech.
One of the key targets for China would be to become a “top-ranked innovative nation by 2035 [and] a nation with pioneering global influence”. As any student of world affairs would tell you, global influence comes from a combination of economic heft and military power. Thus, there are reports that the Chinese have been buying out many companies and businesses at much lower prices in Asia and Europe at a time of panic.
The questions that must concern us are: One, what could be the endgame of the Chinese plan? Two, is the Covid-19 assault on the human race a test of more biological attacks to follow? To understand what could follow, a new novel – though fictionalized – titled ‘Mission Shengzhan’ (published by Bloomsbury) gives a graphic account of the length that hardliners in China could go, to get the better of countries like India. Are we in India, ready for such future attacks?
–This story was earlier published on www.timesnownews.com