After virus upheaval, China strikes deal with Pakistan to make bioweapons

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi Published: Jul 24, 2020, 08:11 PM(IST)

File photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

An agreement to build bio-warfare capabilities has reportedly been struck between China and Pakistan with the Wuhan Institute of Virology at the centre of these claims.

China calls it the largest virus bank in Asia, America calls it the birthplace of the Wuhan virus - the same lab is back in the headlines for a secret deal between China and Pakistan.

An agreement to build bio-warfare capabilities has reportedly been struck between China and Pakistan with the Wuhan Institute of Virology at the centre of these claims.

Australian journalist Anthony Klan, editor of a news website Klaxon reported the story. According to Klan, a three-year agreement has been signed between Pakistan’s defence, science and technology organisation and China's Wuhan Institute of Virology.

It is supposed to be just a research collaboration - an alliance to research “emerging infectious diseases”. However, Anthony Klan claims the alliance has a more sinister agenda.

The program is being entirely funded by China which is no surprise after all Pakistan is largely funded by China. The deal allows China to conduct tests on biological agents outside its borders - in Pakistan.

According to the report, it is a covert deal hidden from the world. There's a secret facility in Pakistan which runs several research projects related to deadly pathogens. Pathogens like anthrax which has been used as a bioweapon.

Earlier on Friday, WION spoke to Anthony Klan, he said that New Delhi must pay attention to the threat as it poses a direct security challenge to India. According to the report, Pakistan has kept civilians out of the project.

Klan said the intention of the project is "opposite of noble" as creating a covert research facility allows China to conduct dangerous experiments out of public view, so, when the facility is on foreign land that too in a Chinese colony like Pakistan, Beijing can evade responsibility when something goes wrong.

Klan said they have learned their lesson from the Wuhan virus. 

The pathogens are being tested in labs that have a lower safety level. In science biosafety level four is considered as the highest level of biosafety precautions. Fatal diseases that can easily transmit should only be tested in biosafety four facilities.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has biosafety level four and yet, there were questions about its safety and the standards it followed. Reports say Pakistan is carrying out the research in labs that are not equipped to handle dangerous viruses. China is building another virus bank in Pakistan but without the necessary precautions.

One way or the other, it's a disaster waiting to happen, if they make a bioweapon, it's a huge threat, if a safety breach takes place, it's a threat to the world.

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