A document has reportedly been found wherein Chinese scientists and health officials are found discussing a “new era of genetic weapons" that could be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponised and unleashed. The document was written before the pandemic in 2015, news agency ANI quoted Weekend Australian that was published in news.com.au.
Titled ‘The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons’, the paper is said to have suggested that the third world war would be fought with biological weapons, revealing how Chinese scientists were discussing the weaponisation of SARS coronaviruses five years before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Peter Jennings, said the document is as close to a “smoking gun as we’ve got". “I think this is significant because it clearly shows that Chinese scientists were thinking about military application for different strains of the coronavirus and thinking about how it could be deployed," Jennings was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
“It begins to firm up the possibility that what we have here is the accidental release of a pathogen for military use," he said, adding the document may explain why China has been so reluctant for outside investigations into the origins of COVID-19. “If this was a case of transmission from a wet market it would be in China’s interest to co-operate… We’ve had the opposite of that."
A cyber security specialist who analyses leaked Chinese government documents said the document definitely isn’t fake when asked by The Australian to verify the paper, according to news.com.au.
“We reached a high confidence conclusion that it was genuine… It’s not fake but it’s up to someone else to interpret how serious it is," Robert Potter, the analyst, said. “It emerged in the last few years… They (China) will almost certainly try to remove it now it’s been covered."
Potter further said it isn’t unusual to see Chinese research papers discussing areas that they are behind on and need to make progress in. “It’s a really interesting article to show what their scientific researchers are thinking," he added.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been caused by a coronavirus named SARS-Co V-2 which emerged in December 2019. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, several of which cause respiratory diseases in humans - ranging from a common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Over 157 million cases of COVID-19 and 3.28 million deaths worldwide have been registered ever sicce the pandemic struck, according to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University.