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US urged to clarify biomilitary activities, accept multilateral inspections as Ukraine found to have 30 biolabs

Source: Global Times

China has urged the US to make full clarification of its biological militarization activities at home and abroad and accept multilateral inspections, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, following media reports that revealed a network of about 30 biological laboratories were formed in Ukraine at the request of the US.

The US’ biological laboratories in Ukraine have aroused great concern, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in remarks during a press conference. Zhao cited media reports as saying that the biological laboratories store large quantities of dangerous viruses, and Russia has found during its military operations that the US is using these facilities for biomilitary projects.

On Monday, Russian media outlets, citing the chief of Russia’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force Igor Kirillov, reported a network of more than 30 biological labs was formed on Ukrainian territory at the request of the US Department of Defense’s Threat Reduction Agency.

According to data released by the US, the US Department of Defense has absolute control over the 26 biological laboratories in Ukraine. All dangerous viruses in Ukraine must be stored in these laboratories, all research activities are led by the US, and no information can be disclosed without the permission of the US, Zhao said.

“Under the current circumstances, for the sake of the health and safety of people in Ukraine, the surrounding region and the whole world, we call on all relevant parties to ensure the safety of these laboratories. In particular, the US, as the party with the best knowledge of these laboratories, should release relevant details as soon as possible, including what viruses are stored and what research has been conducted,” Zhao urged.

The US’ biological military activities in Ukraine are just the “tip of the iceberg,” said Zhao, noting that the US Department of Defense controls a total of 336 biological laboratories in 30 countries in the name of reducing biosecurity risks and strengthening global public health. 

“What is the real intention of the US? What exactly did it do?” Zhao questioned, stressing that the international community has always had misgivings, but the US has always responded perfunctorily. 

Zhao saidthat the US has even described the doubts of the international community as “spreading false information.”

For two decades, the US has exclusively blocked the establishment of the verification mechanism of the Biological Weapons Convention and refused to accept inspections of biological facilities within and outside its borders, further aggravating the concerns of the international community, Zhao pointed out.

“We once again urge the US to make full clarification of its biological militarization activities both inside and outside its borders, and accept multilateral inspections,” Zhao said.