VIRUS UNMASKED – Chinese Biomedical Espionage Operation Targets U.S. Institutions
China’s aggressive campaign of infiltrating American biological research institutions has put a spotlight on the vulnerability of one of our most sensitive industries. The latest Coronavirus outbreak is moving from a partially contained crisis, to a worldwide pandemic. Where did the virus come from, how is the spread being managed, and if the rumors are true that it came from a biohazard lab tied to Chinese and American researchers, how does this hurt and/or benefit China’s global superpower aspirations?
Scientists Working At U.S. Institutions Caught Spying For China
The FBI and the National Institutes of Health have nearly 200 investigations underway at major academic institutions around the country to expose biomedical espionage. The majority of these scientists and researchers under investigation are of Chinese decent and include naturalized American citizens. According to the Times “Seventy-one institutions, including many of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States, are now investigating 180 individual cases involving potential theft of intellectual property.” So far, 24 cases of suspected criminal activity has been referred by the National Institutes of Health to the inspector general’s office of the Department of Health and Human Services.
These agents are accused of stealing military secrets, scientific ideas, designs, devices, and data/methods that could be used to develop new treatments or diagnostic tools. There are several cases where scientists who are supported by the National Institutes of Health or other federal agencies are accused of accepting funding from the Chinese government. The National Institutes of Health has also said that work funded by the United States government and owned by American institutions are being patented in China.
Federal authorities have released information regarding three cases where Chinese agents who are affiliated with U.S. institutions have been accused of trying to provide clandestine scientific information to the People’s Republic of China.
Dr. Charles Lieber was the chairman of the chemistry department at Harvard University and has been charged with having illegal ties to China. Prosecutors said Dr. Lieber had a contract with Wuhan Institute of Technology. He was being paid a salary of up to $50,000 per month and up to $158,000 per year in living expenses by China’s Thousand Talents Plan and the Wuhan University of Technology. He also ran a group which had contracts with the Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health. Federal agents said that Dr. Lieber lied about his ties to China when he bid on those contracts.
There is also Yanqing Ye, who was a Boston University researcher accused of failing to disclose her status as a Lieutenant of the People’s Liberation Army – the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China and member of the Chinese Communist Party. She failed to disclose this information when applying for a U.S. visa. Ye is currently in China and has not been arrested. While Ye studied at Boston University’s Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering for 2 1/2 years, she continued to work as a People’s Liberation Army Lieutenant completing numerous assignments such as conducting research, assessing U.S. military websites and sending U.S. documents and information to China.
Another case is that of Zaosong Zheng, who was a cancer researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Zheng is accused of trying to smuggle vials of biological research on a flight from Boston to Beijing. Customs officers found 21 vials containing a brown liquid wrapped in a plastic bag and hidden in a sock. The vials were not properly declared or packaged for transportation in a commercial aircraft. Officers also found a laptop belonging to a Chinese national. Zheng eventually admitted that he had stolen the vials from a lab at Beth Israel, and that his intention was to bring the vials to China to conduct research in his own laboratory and publish the results under his own name.
China’s ‘Talent Programs’ Recruit Spies
The People’s Republic of China uses talent recruitment programs that the FBI says gives incentives for scientists to illegally take intellectual property developed at U.S. universities to China.
TALENT RECRUITMENT OR “BRAIN GAIN” PROGRAMS encourage the transfer of original ideas and intellectual property from U.S. universities. For example, China’s talent recruitment plans, such as the Thousand Talents Program, offer competitive salaries, state-of-the-art research facilities, and honorific titles, luring both Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts alike to bring their knowledge and experience (or that of advisors and colleagues) to China.
As mentioned above, Harvard Chair Dr. Charles Lieber was a member of this Thousand Talents Program and got quite the compensation for his efforts in aiding the Chinese Communist Government. Another agent who was recently exposed as being part of this program was Kang Zhang, the former chief of eye genetics at the UCSD Shiley Eye Institute, who was also the owner of a publicly traded Chinese biotechnology company. Others who have also been linked to this talent program are Dr. Alan List, CEO and president of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, and four other researchers at the institute. All have resigned after they had violated conflict of interest rules through their work in China.
According to the Tampa Bay Times,
“Moffitt’s internal compliance office launched an internal investigation into the hospital’s partnership with any China research arms and found several “compliance violations,” officials said. Most were linked to Moffitt employees’ personal involvement in China’s “Thousand Talents” program, which is designed to recruit researchers and other experts from American and European universities and companies.”
As you can see, China not only sends agents who disguise themselves as average citizens and embed themselves in American institutions, but they also recruit American talent and pay them thousands of dollars to commit treason.
Chinese Spies in Canadian Biohazard Lab
The United State isn’t the only target of these spies. Last year a Chinese couple was removed from a Canadian biohazard lab after deadly pathogens were shipped to China. This husband and wife Chinese spy team frequented a biohazard lab in Wuhan China. This is the same lab in Wuhan that we mentioned above, who compensated Harvard Chairman Dr. Charles Lieber. It is also in the same town where the Coronavirus epidemic originated. We’re not sure how many other Chinese agents that were caught had affiliations to this lab, but nevertheless, this lab is definitely embroiled with controversy, as we will explain later in this report.
As for this husband and wife team, the details of their conviction has been obscured, but if you read different articles, you can see a glimps of who they were and what they did:
From CBC on Jul 14, 2019 :
Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, her husband Keding Cheng and an unknown number of her students from China were removed from Canada’s only level-4 lab on July 5… A Level 4 virology facility is a lab equipped to work with the most serious and deadly human and animal diseases… this comes several months after IT specialists for the NML entered Qiu’s office after-hours and replaced her computer. Her regular trips to China also started being denied… staff were told the researchers are on leave for an unknown period of time. They were told not to communicate with them… Her research focuses on vaccine development, post-exposure therapeutics and rapid diagnostics of viruses like Ebola… He has published research papers on HIV infections, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), E. coli infections and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome.
From CBC on Oct 03, 2019:
Xiangguo Qiu – was invited to go to the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences twice a year for two years, for up to two weeks each time… During a Sept. 19-30, 2017, trip, she also met with collaborators in Beijing, the documents say… Several of them, who asked not to be identified for fears of retribution, say there have always been questions about Qiu’s trips to China — and what information and technology she was sharing with researchers there. “It’s not right that she’s a Canadian government employee providing details of top-secret work and know-how to set up a high-containment lab for a foreign nation,” one employee said.
This is a piece on Dr. Xiangguo Qiu:
President Xi’s Strategic Balance Of Power And The Virus Outbreak
The current Coronavirus outbreak is testing Beijing’s ability to control the narrative. The sheer volume of criticism on social media sites offers a peak into President Xi Jinping strategy. Normally posts critical of government officials are censored, but posts blaming Wuhan officials have been allowed to fester online, which suggests it is a strategic tactic to find a scapegoat. But in this age of information and how the whole world is connected, will the Chinese Communist Party be able to contain this falsehood?
There are a multitude of reports that also challenge the narrative that this virus came out of a seafood market. According to 29 Chinese researchers who wrote in the British medical journal The Lancet, there is no link from the first patient and the Wuhan market. Their data show that of the 41 cases they studied, 14 had no link to the marketplace.
According to Dr. Daniel Lucey, Professor of Medicine-Infectious Diseases at Georgetown University Medical Center, “The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace.”, he also suggests that the spread of the virus was already occurring person-to-person in October-November (or earlier) and gradually increasing into December.
There are experts that suggest that there are likely thousands of more Coronavirus cases than China admits.
Raymond James health care policy analyst Chris Meekins said he suspects due to the established history of Chinese under reporting public health crises, that official Chinese statistics on Coronavirus infections are only “really a fraction” of those who actually have the disease. “If China’s been reporting about 800 [infections] with 25 deaths, we think the number is probably 10 times that number in China right now because you had a number of misdiagnoses.”
Professor Neil Ferguson, a public health expert at Imperial College in London, said his “best guess” was that there were 100,000 affected by the virus even though there were only 2,000 confirmed cases at the time. Other Public health researchers at Imperial College released a report on January 22nd that suggested of the 440 cases that were reported in China at the time, the real figure was closer to 4,000 — and could have been as high as 9,700 in the worst-case scenario. Their report states “Our analysis suggests that the nCoV-19 outbreak has caused substantially more cases of moderate or severe respiratory illness in Wuhan than have currently been detected.”
Gabriel Leung, Lead researcher and dean of University of Hong Kong’s faculty of medicine, said that the number of people infected is likely to be much higher than official figures — estimating that 44,000 people were possibly infected as of Saturday January 25th, in the Chinese city of Wuhan alone. He also mentioned that the epedemic case count is expected to double every 6 days.
In the following viral video, a Chinese nurse in Wuhan claims there were more than 90,000 people who were infected by the Coronavirus at the time.
*** Update 01/31/2020
A new modelling study published by The Lancet estimates that 75,815 individuals in the Chinese city of Wuhan alone may have been infected Coronavirus 2019-nCoV as of January 25, 2020. Researches say that the true size of the epidemic still remains unclear.
Could the Chinese Communist party’s attempt to control the narrative be as frail as it seems, or are these reports actually controlled?
There has also been speculation that a Chinese Biohazard lab in Wuhan china could be the source of the current Coronavirus epidemic. So far there isn’t evidence that this lab leaked the virus, however it is important to inform people that these institutions exist. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is only 20 miles away from the meat market where the virus supposedly originated.
Could this be a Biological warfare operation? According to Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese biological warfare, the Wuhan lab is linked to Beijing’s covert bio-weapons program.
“Certain laboratories in the institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese BW alignment,” Mr. Shoham told The Washington Times.
Work on biological weapons is conducted as part of dual civilian-military research and is “definitely covert,” he said in an email.
Even though China has denied of having biological weapons for offensive use, last year’s State Department report on arms treaty compliance revealed suspicions of covert biological warfare operations and their potential of causing global harm.
In 2017, Nature wrote an article called the “Chinese lab poised to study world’s most dangerous pathogens” that suggests, without evidence for now, that the Coronavirus epidemic may well have been a weaponized virus which “accidentally” escaped the Wuhan biohazard facility:
The Wuhan lab cost 300 million Yuan (US$44 million), and to allay safety concerns it was built far above the flood plain and with the capacity to withstand a magnitude-7 earthquake, although the area has no history of strong earthquakes… The Chinese Academy of Sciences approved the construction of a BSL-4 laboratory in 2003, and the epidemic of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) around the same time lent the project momentum…The lab’s first project will be to study the BSL-3 pathogen that causes Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever: a deadly tick-borne virus that affects livestock across the world, including in northwest China, and that can jump to people. Future plans include studying the pathogen that causes SARS, which also doesn’t require a BSL-4 lab, before moving on to Ebola and the West African Lassa virus…
SL-4 is the highest level of biocontainment: its criteria include filtering air and treating water and waste before they leave the laboratory, and stipulating that researchers change clothes and shower before and after using lab facilities. Such labs are often controversial. The first BSL-4 lab in Japan was built in 1981, but operated with lower-risk pathogens until 2015, when safety concerns were finally overcome.
Worries surround the Chinese lab. The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, notes Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The theory that the virus escaped the Wuhan lab is not only challenged by the media but also Steven Jay Hatfill, former biodefense researcher for the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who currently works at a level-4 lab. Here’s what he had to say when he went on Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic podcast and was asked if this virus could have escaped the Wuhan Lab:
“I think it was natural. I’m sitting in a SL-4 laboratory right now, and there is no way you can get anything out of here. There is no way a bad guy can get in. The people around me are of the highest professional caliber, both mentally, technically, emotionally, and every other consideration. I’m sorry, but I kind of downplay the fact that this may have come out a BW laboratory.”
When asked why he came to that conclusion, he responded with:
“We’ve been waiting for this to happen for the last 20 years. This whole concept of emerging infectious diseases. Something happened around 1990, to the world, and it was something alarming. We started to see outbreaks of previously unknown pathogens, jumping from animals into the human species, with an ever increasing frequency… Since 1918 up until 1990 we had four major pandemic strains of influenza appear, from about 1995 on, there is an additional six… “
When asked if this is a result of over-population or populations that don’t have access to public health systems where you have animals and humans living together, he responded with:
“That’s a lot of it. Viruses that were once previously hidden deep inside the jungles or forest, humans are now coming in contact with…. I think its general population numbers that have exceeded at some critical point. It’s bad because, when you look at the graph of all this and the numbers, it looks like, welcome to the age of epidemics. And we’re not ready.
It’s ironic that Hatfill says that his colleagues are of the “highest professional caliber“, when there are over 200 cases currently being investigated by the FBI and the National Institutes of Health for theft of Biomedical Secrets for China. People were literally caught trying to board a plane with vials of biomedical fluid in their socks.
Hatfill also mentioned that we had alarming changes that happened in the early 90s. But he fails to see the correlation between his over-population theory with that of the climate change propaganda that came about during the Clinton administration (1993-2001). Al Gore started warning that over-population fosters global warming, and suggested birth-control programs that include abortion would help reduce the environmental threat.
There is also the UN’s Agenda 21 program that was released in 1992. In their words, “Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.” Their often-vague wording obscures many of the potential impacts for achieving a more ‘sustainable’ population.
Impact Of The Coronavirus On The Global Economy
The global economic cost of the outbreak of the SARS virus was close to $40 billion in 2003. Now 17 years later, China is a very different country. Many more of their citizens now travel abroad, and in fact, this outbreak came at the busiest travel season for the Chinese, as millions travel during the lunar holiday. So far at least 50 million people are in lockdown-mode over a dozen cities, while travel restrictions have been implemented throughout China in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading abroad. But the virus has already made landfall world wide. Factories like Foxconn, Johnson & Johnson, and Samsung and most recently Google have closed in China due to the virus outbreak. It’s clear that even though this current virus is only in its beginning stages, it will quickly overshadow the $40 billion in global economic loss that happened during last pandemic.
China’s Dynastic Cycle and The Mandate of Heaven
In China, there is a thing called the Dynastic Cycle where each dynasty rules until they lose their “Mandate of Heaven“. They lose the “Mandate” usually because of things like corruption, famine, floods, and more, that are basically signs of Heaven’s displeasure with the current ruler. A crisis like the spread of the Coronavirus might have the effect of labeling the current Communist party as lacking the proper strength to handle this crisis, therefore losing the Mandate of Heaven. This might justify a rebellion. But seeing how China has historically censored dissenting views, their strategic attempt at letting posts remain online putting blame on Wuhan officials instead of the Communist party, tells us President Xi is trying to circumvent any uprising. In fact, President Xi just called the Coronovirus a ‘devil’. But will this move save them?
As always, God bless America and long live the republic.
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