Chinese government deception regarding the coronavirus outbreak is raising new fears about Beijing’s biological weapons activities, including population-specific research on germ weapons capable of attacking ethnic groups, according to current and former U.S. officials.
A senior Trump administration official told The Washington Times that China is known to be engaged in a covert program that includes development of biological weapons capable of attacking ethnic groups with pathogens.
“We are looking at potential biological experiments on ethnic minorities,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.
Details about the activities were obtained from sources with direct knowledge of the Chinese programs and are contained in intelligence reports that may be declassified for public release in the future.
The official said China’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak has heightened concerns about its secret biological weapons work. Beijing hid early indicators of how infectious the coronavirus was and delayed warning the world.
“We continue to have concerns with China’s BWC compliance as well as their international obligations,” the official said, referring to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, an international treaty that prohibits the development and production of biological agents. “If we’ve learned nothing else through this COVID episode, it’s that China cannot be trusted to do the right thing.”
China signed the BWC treaty in 1984, and more than 100 other countries have joined. Article 5 requires signatories to “consult one another and to cooperate in solving any problems” related to biological threats.