Wuhan has two
laboratories linked to
Chinese bio-warfare program
institute there has China’s only secure lab for studying deadly
deadly animal virus epidemic spreading globally may have originated
laboratory linked to China’s
covert biological weapons program, according to an Israeli biological
Free Asia this
week rebroadcast a local Wuhan television report from 2015
most advanced virus research laboratory known the Wuhan
Institute of Virology, Radio
Free Asia reported.
laboratory is the only declared site in China capable
of working with deadly viruses.
laboratories in the institute have
probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in
Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a
principal facility of the Chinese BW alignment,” Mr. Shoham told
The Washington Times.
on biological weapons is conducted as part of a dual
civilian-military research and is “definitely covert,” he said in
Mr. Shoham holds
a doctorate in medical microbiology. From 1970 to 1991 he was a
senior analyst with Israeli military intelligence for biological and
chemical warfare in the Middle East and worldwide, holding the rank
of lieutenant colonel.
Chinese Embassy spokesman did not return an email seeking comment.
Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and
Prevention, told state-controlled media initial signs as of Thursday
indicated the virus originated from wild animals sold at a seafood
market in Wuhan.
ominous sign, said a U.S. official, is the that false rumors since
the outbreak began several weeks ago have begun circulating on the
Chinese Internet claiming the virus is part of a U.S. conspiracy to
spread germ weapons.
could indicate China is
preparing propaganda outlets to counter future charges the new virus
escaped from one of Wuhan’s civilian or defense research
World Health Organization is calling the microbe novel coronavirus
2019-nCoV. At a meeting in Geneva Thursday, the organization stopped
short of declaring a Public Health Emergency of International
virus outbreak causes pneumonia-like symptoms and prompted China to
deploy military forces to Wuhan this week in a bid to halt the
spread. All travel out of the city of 11 million people was halted.
studied coronaviruses in the past, including the including the strain
that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, H5N1
influenza virus, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue. Researchers at
the institute also
studied the germ that causes anthrax – a biological agent once
developed in Russia.
(particularly SARS) have been studied in the institute and
are probably held therein,” he said. “SARS is included within the
Chinese BW program, at large, and is dealt with in several pertinent
is not known if the institute’s
array of coronaviruses are specifically included in biological
weapons program but it is possible, he said.
if the new coronavirus may have leaked, Mr. Shoham said:
“In principle, outward virus infiltration might take place either
as leakage or as an indoor unnoticed infection of a person that
normally went out of the concerned facility.
This could have been the
case with the Wuhan
Institute of Virology,
but so far there isn’t evidence or indication for such incident.”
researchers sequence of the genome of the new coronavirus it might be
possible to determine or suggest its origin or source.
now with the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan
University in Israel, said the virology
the only declared site in China known
as P4 for Pathogen Level 4, a status indicating it uses the strictest
safety standards to prevent the spread of the most dangerous and
exotic microbes being studied.
former Israeli military intelligence doctor also said suspicions were
raised about the Wuhan
Institute of Virology when
a group of Chinese virologists working in Canada improperly sent
samples to China of
what he said were some of the deadliest viruses on earth, including
the Ebola virus.
a July article in the journal
Defence Studies and Analyses, Mr. Shoham said
one of four Chinese laboratories engaged in some aspects of the
biological weapons development.
identified the secure Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory at
the institute as
engaged in research on the Ebola, Nipah, and Crimean-Congo
hemorrhagic fever viruses.
Wuhan virology institute is under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
But certain laboratories within it “have linkage with the PLA or
BW-related elements within the Chinese defense establishment,” he
1993, China declared
a second facility, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, as one
of eight biological warfare research facilities covered by the
Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) which Chinajoined
Wuhan Institute of Biological Products is a civilian facility but is
linked to the Chinese defense establishment, and has been regarded to
be involved in the Chinese BW program, Mr. Shoham said.
vaccine against SARS is probably produced there.
means the SARS virus is held and propagated there, but it is not a
new coronavirus, unless the wild type has been modified, which is not
known and cannot be speculated at the moment,” he said.
annual State Department report on arms treaty compliance stated last
year that China engaged
in activities that could support biological warfare.
indicates that the People’s Republic of China engaged during the
reporting period in biological activities with potential dual-use
applications, which raises concerns regarding its compliance with the
BWC,” the report said, adding that the United States
suspects China failed
to eliminate its biological warfare program as required by the
United States has compliance concerns with respect to Chinese
military medical institutions’ toxin research and development
because of the potential dual-use applications and their potential as
a biological threat,” the report added.
biosafety lab is located about 20 miles from the Hunan Seaford Market
that reports from China say
may have been origin point of the virus.
University microbiologist Dr. Richard Ebright told London’s Daily
Mail that “at this point there’s no reason to harbor suspicions”
the lab may be linked to the virus outbreak.