China has a unique and interesting history. Their culture and advances in science are notable as are their experiences in Tibet, the Uyghurs, genocide, Taiwan, Hong Kong, military biotechnology, and Covid-19. Some experts believe that China will be the biggest threat we have to face in the future, but why would they think that?
DICTATORS, NOT DYNASTIES
Civilization in China is considered to be among the oldest in world history, perhaps second only to the biblical “cradle of civilization” in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq).
While we can chronicle the many ‘Dynasties’ in China’s past, the history of that part of the world is not much different than the history of the early tribes of Europe, or native America, or Africa.
All are replete with warfare and colonization in order to secure geography and national safety.
But, let’s focus on why much of the world has come to have an intense hatred of China.
Mao Zedong – also known as “Chairman Mao” – was the founding father of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and ruled the country from 1949 (just after WWII) until his death in 1976.
From about 1958 to 1962, it is estimated that Chairman Mao was responsible for killing some 45 million people, many by starvation (PM Australia, 2010).
Surprisingly, today his image remains on China’s official currency.
Militaries across the globe have always (rightly) examined private industry concepts and products to see if those concepts and products might have “dual-use” for the military.
A Sept. 2021 piece from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey entitled, “Scientific risk assessment of genetic weapons systems” defines precision medicine as “a medical care designed to optimize benefit for particular groups, especially based on genetic (or molecular) profiling” (Pitch, et al, 2021).
Of course, the medical community might use that genetic information to better treat maladies that afflict certain ethnicities. But, the “dual-use” concept might also allow military researchers to weaponize such genetic information to specifically target different ethnicities, or other targets genetically.
A 2005 piece included in the U.S. Army’s Military Review journal entitled “Ultramicro, nonlethal, and reversible: Looking ahead to military biotechnology,” Colonel Ji-El of The People’s Liberation Army of China wrote specifically about military uses of biotechnology, including the Human Genome Project (HGP), genetic structures, and even ways to alter biological features of an enemy.
As he wrote, “we might soon be able to design, control, reconstruct, and simulate molecules in living beings.” Ji-El added that a military attack “might wound an enemy’s genes, proteins, cells, tissues, and organs, causing more damage than conventional weapons could.”
Perhaps most shocking, he insists, “If we acquire a target’s genome and proteome information, including those of ethnic groups or individuals, we could design a vulnerating agent that attacks only key enemies without doing any harm to ordinary people” (AUP, 2005).
Finally, he imagined what he called a “microbullet” manipulated with DNA molecules that would “cause disease or injury by controlling genes.”
Elsa Kania – adjunct senior fellow at the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security – along with security consultant Wilson Vordick, penned the piece “Weaponizing Biotech: How China’s military is preparing for a ‘New domain of warfare” in the August 2019 edition of Defense One magazine (Elsa &Vordivk, 2019) .
They wrote that The People’s Liberation Army of China is “at the forefront of expanding and exploiting this (biotechnology) knowledge.”
Of specific mention was one Chinese scientist who received world condemnation for “editing embryos that became the world’s first genetically modified humans.”
Another shocking revelation was that Beijing Genomics Inc. (BGI) – based in Shenzhen, China – has had access to the genetic information of many Americans by harvesting samples from medical testing kits.
A July 2021 Reuters investigation piece entitled “China’s gene giant harvests data from millions of women” found that the Chinese company collaborated with the Chinese military to develop prenatal testing kits that were sold around the world.
The Reuters investigation suggested that China’s harvesting of genetic data from leftover blood samples could “potentially lead to genetically enhanced soldiers, or engineered pathogens to target the U.S. population or food supply” (Needham & Baldwin, 2021).
As also noted in the 2021 Reuters piece, “BGI shot to global prominence last year after selling or donating millions of COVID-19 test kits and gene-sequencing labs outside China. U.S. security agencies warned this was part of an effort to collect large amounts of foreign genetic material.”
Especially now – with the entire globe engulfed with and battling Covid-19 – much of the world disdains China, and China knows it.
Of course, we should offer sincere support to the Chinese people, but any effort by China to attack and/or invade Taiwan in any way would instantly draw worldwide shock and condemnation.
As we consider everything I’ve discussed here, we have to put it all on the same page rather than simply discussing these issues as separate topics.
We have the atrocities in Tibet, the genocide of the Uyghurs, Chinese military threats to invade Taiwan, violence in Hong Kong, gene editing and military biotechnology, and now COVID-19.
China has given us plenty of signals. I hope we’re listening.
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BBC (2018) – China’s Xi allowed to remain ‘president for life’ as term limits removed, BBC News, March 11. 2018. Retrieved August 11, 2021 from China’s Xi allowed to remain ‘president for life’ as term limits removed – BBC News.
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