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Tags: china | military | marine toxins | bioweapons | neurotoxins | conflicts | state department

Report: Chinese Military Researching Marine Toxins for Bioweapons

By    |   Wednesday, 24 April 2024 08:53 AM EDT

The Chinese military's research into dual-use marine-based neurotoxins is raising the U.S. government's concerns that a new wave of biological weapons is being developed for use in future conflicts, according to an annual State Department arms control compliance report.

In the document, released earlier this month, the Chinese "continued to engage in biological activities with potential [biological weapons] applications, including the possible development of toxins for military purposes, which raise concerns regarding its compliance" with the 1975 Biological Weapons Convention, (BWC) ratified by China in 1984, reports The Washington Times' Bill Gertz.

China has developed several types of germ weapons in the past, including anthrax, cholera, and plague, but the latest report is the first time the nation's government has been accused of researching marine toxins.

According to the State Department, China's regular reports to other nations involved in the BWC did not include information about the military's research into sea-based toxins.

Marine toxins, which occur naturally, attack the central nervous system, and minuscule amounts of the deadly poisons can kill victims.

Civilian research in China has focused on preventing marine toxin poisoning from seafood and shellfish, but U.S. intelligence suspects the People's Liberation Army of using that research to develop weapons.

The State Department report did not specify the marine toxins being examined by the Chinese military. However, a March 2014 research report from the Chinese government showed that research was being conducted into the use of toxins, including three types from the sea, for use in biological weapons.

The report, which appeared in the Journal of Applied Biomedicine, was funded by the Chinese government's National Natural Science Foundation of China and identified anatoxins, saxitoxins, and tetrodotoxins for potential military use.

Meanwhile, China stopped its talks with the United States about biological and chemical weapons after the COVID-19 pandemic.

"While it is unfortunate that the PRC has postponed previous regular bilateral chemical and biological weapons-related consultations since 2020, we continue to press them on these matters in other meetings," a U.S. official commented.

Meanwhile, another government official said that the U.S. government has known about the Chinese research on marine toxins for years, but the matter was kept secret until this month's compliance report.

Meanwhile, Thomas DiNanno, a former arms control official during the Trump administration, accused the State Department of failing to press the Chinese government on the marine toxin research.

"Our plan was to ask some hard questions regarding their program of potential dual-use research," he said. "It looks like the Biden administration chose to just ignore it as too hard or too controversial. Either way, it is not good."

The Commerce Department sanctioned the PLA Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the main Chinese military organization for biological defense work, and its subordinates in 2021 for its work on "brain-control weaponry," not marine toxins.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The Chinese military's research into dual-use marine-based neurotoxins is raising the U.S. government's concerns that a new wave of biological weapons is being developed for use in future conflicts, according to an annual State Department arms control compliance report.
china, military, marine toxins, bioweapons, neurotoxins, conflicts, state department
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2024-53-24
Wednesday, 24 April 2024 08:53 AM
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