China Had Biological Weapons Ambitions Long Before Pandemic: House Intelligence Committee Member

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China had made clear its biological weapons ambitions long before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Wenstrup together with Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released a report (pdf) on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic on Dec. 14.

“Our State Department has put things out over the past, even going back to 2005, that China is interested in offensive bioweapons,” Wenstrup told the “Capitol Report” program on NTD, the sister media outlet of the Epoch Times, on Dec. 16.

The lawmaker singled out the work of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s Fifth Institute of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS), the military’s top medical research body. 

“In 2005, the U.S. State Department publicly stated the U.S. assessment that China also operates an offensive biological weapons program, specifically identifying two Chinese entities as likely involved, one of which is the Fifth Institute. In a 2006 declaration of compliance with the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention, China acknowledged that the Fifth Institute specifically conducts research on SARS coronaviruses,” the report reads. 

Wenstrup also took note of the book titled “The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Artificial Humanized Viruses as Genetic Weapons,” released by AMMS in 2015.

“The book described how to create weaponized chimeric SARS coronaviruses, the potentially broader scope for their use compared to traditional bioweapons, and the benefits of being able to plausibly deny that such chimeric coronaviruses were artificially created rather than naturally occurring,” the report states.

The congressman, who is also a medical doctor, said that the military research institute had also collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the body at the center of the lab leak theory of the pandemic origins. 

Wenstrup said there were “published articles with scientists from the Fifth Institute, as well as the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) … combining their military with their other areas of research.”

By Hannah Ng and Steve Lance

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