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China’s top military scientist had collaborated with expelled scientist from Canada’s BSL-4 Lab for work on Ebola

As per the NML scientists who worked on the Ebola papers, it was unknown to them that even China's top virologist was in their group. They informed that Dr Qiu did not share the details of the scientists she worked with.

Chinese military scientist and a high-level officer in the People’s Liberation Army, Major General Chen, who developed a Covid19 vaccine was found to have collaborated with a fired Canadian Scientist Dr Qiu at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnepeg during the Ebola research and jointly worked on two scientific research papers in 2016 and 2020.

As per reports, Major General Chen is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a prestigious advisory body to China’s top level of leadership. She was also honoured by President Xi at a ceremony in September 2020 for her contribution to the development of China’s single-dose Covid19 vaccine.

The Ebola research papers of 2016 and 2020 did not mention Major General Chen as a Chinese Military officer but recognized him as Wei Chen from the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, which was a part of the Academy of Military Science.

As per the NML scientists who worked on the Ebola papers, it was unknown to them that even China’s top virologist was in their group. They informed that Dr Qiu did not share the details of the scientists she worked with.

Canadian govt won’t disclose if Major General Chen ever visited their BSL-4 lab at Winnipeg

The PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada) however will not disclose if Major General Chen ever visited the Winnipeg lab which was a Level-4 facility and the Agency insisted that their privacy laws prevented them from disclosing any visitor records. Health Department spokesman Mark Johnson stated, “However, all visitors including researchers collaborating with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) must adhere to Government of Canada and PHAC security protocols, procedures and policies and must be escorted by an employee with a secret clearance at all times,”

Who is Dr Qiu?

Dr. Xiangguo Qiu was born in Tianjin, China . She got her doctorate degree in China from Hebei Medical University in 1985 and was previously the head of the Vaccine Development and Antiviral Therapies section of the Special Pathogens Programme. Dr Qiu along with her husband Dr Keding Cheng, also a Chinese scientist who worked at the NML were both fired in January from their NML positions.

In July 2019, a team of Chinese virologists were expelled from the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, over a shipment of Ebola and Nipah viruses to China which was considered a “possible policy breach” and  “administrative issue”. According to reports, Dr Qiu along with her husband and a number of her students had their security clearances revoked after the incident.

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of NATO, hinted at espionage about the incident, “What I can say in general is that we have seen increased efforts by the nations to spy on NATO allies in different ways,” 

However, on the matter of Canadian and Chinese co-operation, PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada) spokesperson Anne Géniers stated on Tuesday “While the NML does not have institutional agreements with the Chinese military, Canada’s scientists have collaborated with Chinese scientists to contribute to the global public health fight against deadly diseases, such as Ebola,” He further added, “These collaborations have yielded vaccine and treatment candidates for diseases, as documented in peer-reviewed journals.

Former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Ward Elcock was against this kind of collaboration and responded by saying, “If I was the director of CSIS at the time and I had that information in front of me – would it have rung an alarm bell for me? Absolutely.”

 

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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