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Zhao Lijian: US dismissal of concerns over biomilitary activities shows irresponsible attitude

Source: Global Times

The international community has expressed grave concern over US biomilitary activities and for the US to dismiss this as “fake news” shows an irresponsible attitude, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday when asked to comment on the US’ denial that it operates biowarfare labs in the Ukraine.

The international community has no idea what the US has done in its domestic Fort Detrick lab and the 336 biolabs it has abroad, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

“We appeal to all parties to ensure the safety of the biological laboratories in Ukraine under the current circumstances, for the sake of people in Ukraine and in the surrounding regions,” said Zhao. The Russian Ministry of Defense said on the same day that documents showed experiments on coronavirus samples from bats have been conducted in the biolabs founded and financed by the US in Ukraine. 

Zhao also expressed concerns over US opposition to the founding of a multilateral inspections mechanism, and whether it complies with the Chemical Weapons Convention. 

“Despite being a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the US remains the only country in the world that still possesses chemical weapons. It has twice exceeded the time limit to destroy all its chemical weapons stockpiles despite repeated requests by the international community,” Zhao noted.

Zhao added that the data he mentioned about US biomilitary activities came from the US itself.

Zhao emphasized that China firmly opposes any country developing, possessing or using biological or chemical weapons, urging the US again to offer full clarification on its biological military activities at home and abroad, while also calling for it to accept multilateral inspections and finish the elimination of its chemical weapons stockpile as soon as possible.

According to the Arms Control Association, as part of its treaty obligations to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the US must finish destroying all of its declared chemical weapons stockpiles by September 2023, and as of May 2021, the US has not yet destroyed part of its Category 1 chemical weapons stockpile.