Home >Science >Health >China conducting experiments of dangerous pathogens with Pakistan since 2015: Report
In this photo released by Chinese nurse Zhang Dan, she poses for a photo while working at the Tongji hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, (AP)
In this photo released by Chinese nurse Zhang Dan, she poses for a photo while working at the Tongji hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, (AP)

China conducting experiments of dangerous pathogens with Pakistan since 2015: Report

Results of five studies done by Wuhan and Pakistani scientists have been published in scientific papers, each involving the 'detection and characterisation' of 'zoonotic pathogens'

Beijing: A team of coronavirus scientists from Wuhan Institute of Virology in China has been conducting experiments of dangerous pathogens in "collaboration" with Pakistan for five years under the guise of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), The Klaxon reported.

According to the report written by Anthony Klan, Wuhan scientists are believed to have been conducting research into deadly pathogens in Pakistan since 2015, after revelations surfaced last month that China and Pakistan have entered into a secret three-year agreement to expand potential bio-warfare capabilities.

Results of five studies done by Wuhan and Pakistani scientists have been published in scientific papers, each involving the "detection and characterisation" of "zoonotic pathogens".

For those unversed, zoonotic pathogens are infectious diseases that can pass from animals to humans. The studies comprise experiments and genome sequencing of the West Nile Virus, MERS-Coronavirus, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, the Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus and the Chikungunya Virus.

Currently, there is no cure or vaccine for these pathogens, some of them considered to be the world's deadliest and most contagious, according to the article.

One of the studies thanked Wuhan's National Virus Resource Centre for "providing the virus-infected Vero cells". Each of the five studies conducted said it was "supported" by the "International Cooperation on Key Technologies of Biosafety along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)".

The CPEC is the flagship component of China's massive BRI infrastructure project, both of which were announced in 2015. The BRI has been heavily criticised as being a veil for Chinese colonial expansion, leaving less developed countries with huge amounts of debts, thereby allowing Beijing to exert its influence over them.

The five studies were published between December 2017 and March 9 this year and appears to precede the announcement of the new Wuhan-Pakistan military bio-programme. However, it does not reveal any links to the Pakistani military.

According to the five studies, blood samples were collected from thousands of Pakistani men, women and children, mainly those who resided in remote areas and worked closely with animals, according to The Klaxon.

Citing highly credible intelligence sources, The Klaxon reported last month that China, through its Wuhan Institute of Virology, is testing lethal biological agents in Pakistan and providing "extensive training on manipulation of pathogens and bio-informatics" to Pakistani scientists, which could "enrich a potential offensive biological programme".

With regards to the secret deal signed between the Pakistani military and China to conduct research in "emerging infectious diseases" and the "biological control of transmitted diseases", there are key concerns that Islamabad could use the technology in bio-fare or deadly pathogens may escape accidentally from inadequate equipped facilities.

It is alleged that the programme is involved in "various dual-use research projects", meaning they can have both military and civilian applications.

While both China and Pakistan slammed the accusations, Islamabad has appeared to have confirmed the existence of the agreement between its military and Wuhan lab and operations are being carried out on Pakistani soil, although the location is unknown.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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