China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the lab at the center of intense scrutiny over whether it was the source of the COVID-19 pandemic, earlier this year launched a new research facility and has sought to staff it with workers loyal to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The new facility, called the Jiangxia Laboratory, will focus on studying emerging and highly pathogenic pathogens, biosafety technologies, and drugs on biosafety defense, according to China’s state-run media. Located in central China’s Hubei Province, the new lab was formally unveiled in a ceremony in February.
According to the WIV website, the facility is headed by Xiao Gengfu, who is currently the CCP secretary attached to the WIV.
In China, most companies, schools, institutions, and other entities have party branches or party cells embedded in them—a way for the communist regime to maintain a tight grip on their operations and staff.
Since May, the WIV has published several job listings on its website for positions at the new facility. At least two listings had one specific qualification requirement—being a CCP member.
A May 17 job post looked for a CCP member who could fill a “comprehensive management post.” The person would need to handle administrative duties such as coordinating and organizing important meetings and major events.
Additionally, the person would be tasked to handle “Party affairs management,” including having the responsibility of “Party branch construction and daily management of Party members,” according to the job post.
On Aug. 25, the WIV published a post seeking a CCP member to fill a human resources position. The person would be in charge of hiring and other duties such as managing contracts.
The recruiting documents were initially reported by The National Pulse.
Jiangxia Laboratory is one of seven new labs established in Hubei this year, as part of an initiative by the provincial authorities to turn Hubei into a province with strong technology sectors. According to China’s state-run media, one of the labs focuses on optoelectronics, the study of electronic devices that use light, and is run by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei’s capital.
By Frank Fang