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China’s Sinopharm vaccine being developed at a bio-weapons lab operated by PLA, has history of producing sub-standard vaccines: Details

The latest disclosure about the history of the Sinopharm's lab in Wuhan has fostered doubts among biowarfare experts, the US government, and the Taiwanese military over whether the lab serves as dual-use biological warfare (BW) facility for the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Amidst massive concerns about the safety and efficacy of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, damning disclosures have come out in the public that not only raises suspicion regarding the history of the company producing the vaccine and its ties with the People’s Liberation Army but also suggests that the company’s lab in Wuhan was used for a biological warfare research program in the past, reports Taiwan News.

The latest disclosure about the history of the Sinopharm’s lab in Wuhan has fostered doubts among biowarfare experts over whether the lab served as dual-use biological warfare (BW) facility for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

According to the reports, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products (WIBP), the Sinopharm’s centre for COVID-19 vaccine development, was designated as one of eight dual-use biological warfare research facilities under its “national defensive biological warfare R&D program” in 1993. Even though China has never accepted that it has an “offensive” biological warfare program since signing the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1984, the US asserts that China has some elements of an offensive biological weapon capability in violation of its BTWC obligations.

paper titled “China’s Role in the Chemical and Biological Disarmament Regimes,” authored by Eric Croddy, a researcher at the Monterey Institute for International Studies, listed the “Wuhan Biological Products Factory” in Wuhan’s Wuchang District as a biological warfare research organization built by the PLA focused on “research and cultivation of various BW agents.”

Wuhan Biological Products Factory in Wuchang listed for cultivation of BW agents./ Image Source: Taiwannews

Strengthening Croddy’s claims, many biowarfare experts, the Taiwanese military and the US government have also raised serious concerns and highlighted that the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products (WIBP) had served as a biological warfare facility for the People’s Liberation Army in the past.

It is pertinent to note that the deadly COVID-19 pandemic first appeared in the city of Wuhan, and since then, fingers are being pointed at China, accusing them of not only failing to act during the initial outbreak but also for withholding the information about the virus from other countries. It has also been alleged that the COVID-19 virus strain may have been originated at the institute and later released into the city of Wuhan while researchers were studying it in the lab.

Wuhan dual-use labs could be the source of COVID-19, says research

In 2015, an Israeli biological warfare analyst Dany Shoham had written in the Journal of Defence Studies, saying that a security specialist in Taipei in April 2001 had stated that a facility in Wuhan’s Wuchang District cultivates biological warfare agents. The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the WIBP, both located in the Wuchang District, may have been used as the ground zero develop a biowarfare product.

Taipei security specialist referring to WIBP cultivating biological weapons/ Image Source: IDSA

The research paper had said that the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) commands various defence research and development and industry facilities. The China National Biotech Corporation (CNBC), which is under SASAC, facilitates the R&D and manufacturing of BWs. It is associated with a system referred to as the “Institutes of Biological Products”, the centres located in various cities that include the WIBP.

Another group under SASAC – the China National Biotech Group (CNBG), engages in vaccine production and research and also “designs, controls, and regulates” large-scale production facilities for its biological warfare program (BWP) for “both defensive and offensive purposes.” The WIBP is also listed in the CNBG’s list of centres that “possess industrial production capacities” for biological warfare.

WIBP listed as being affiliated with China’s military/ Image Source: IDSA

As per Shoham, the WIBP, which is tied to China’s defence establishment, may have participated in the “Chinese Biological Weapons Convention program” before the start of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic in January 2020. In a 2019 compliance report, the US State Department had again communicated its concerns saying China was violating the BWC through dual-use research.

The report read, “Information 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.”

China produced substandard vaccines from labs linked to PLA, dumped a huge amount of animal carcasses

However, the most worrisome issue is that the COVID-19 vaccine that China is currently marketing to developing countries is developed by the WIBP, a subsidiary of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), which owns 95 per cent, followed by China Guoxin Holdings Co. Ltd. at 5 per cent. Massive concerns have been raised about the safety of the vaccine as 73 local and systemic adverse reactions has already been listed in its manual.

The WIBP lab has a history of producing low standard vaccines. In 2018, the WIPB, which is currently producing the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, had produced a batch of 400,520 substandard doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough vaccines for infants. In the same year, authorities found evidence of forged data tied to the production of 113,000 rabies vaccines.

In 2018, the WIBP had posted a disposal service tender notice to remove 79.5 tons of hazardous waste, including 28 tons of “experimental animal carcasses” and 25 tons of “substandard vaccine,” with a service time ranging from January 1 to December 31, 2019. Such a huge amount of disposal suggest that the scientists in the WIBP may have carried out some classified lethal tests on animals before unleashing them into the world.

PLA experimented in Wuhan lab, covered up outbreak: Former US Deputy National Security Advisor Mathew Pottinger

Mathew Pottinger, the former US Deputy National Security Advisor, has also revealed that American intelligence sources have strong reason to believe the “Chinese military was doing secret classified animal experiments in that same laboratory” as early as 2017.

Pottinger, who was the DNSA to Donald Trump, also said that there is “good reason to believe” that an outbreak of a “flu-like illness” was detected among the WIV scientists in the fall of 2019.

The fact sheet released by the US State Department on January 15 states that the “US government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses”.

It also pointed out that although the WIV bills itself as a “civilian institution,” US intelligence has determined that the lab has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. It alleges that the lab has undertaken “classified research, including laboratory animal experiments,” on behalf of the PLA since 2017.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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