A recent Reuters report revealed that BGI Group, the world’s largest biotechnology company, has worked with Chinese Communist Party’s military on research ranging from massive respiratory pathogen testing to brain science.
The report based on patent applications, as well as about 40 publicly available research papers and documents in Chinese and English, indicate that BGI’s links to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also include research with Chinese military supercomputing experts.
The Chinese-based company has raised alarms in the United States after a warning was released by U.S. intelligence officials that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was collecting DNA from Americans to win a race for control of the world’s biological data, according to BIzPac Review.
In a CBS report former counterintelligence chief William Evenina, noted, “This shows the nefarious mindset of the Communist Party of China, to take advantage of a worldwide crisis like COVID.”
“We put out an advisory to not only every American, but to hospitals, associations, and clinics. Knowing that BGI is a Chinese company, do we understand where that data’s going?”
Faced with alarms from U.S. security officials to avoid the use of Chinese tests, BGI has denied being in the middle of a global race aimed at collecting genetic data.
BGI has sold millions of COVID-19 test kits outside China since the outbreak of the CCP Virus pandemic, including to Europe, Australia, and the United States, according to Reuters.
As Reuters pointed out, shares of BGI Genomics Co., the company’s subsidiary listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange, have doubled in price over the past 12 months, giving it a market value of about $9 billion.
According to Reuters, while the documents reviewed neither support nor contradict the U.S. suspicion, the material shows that the links between the PLA and BGI run deep, showing that the CCP has worked to integrate private research technology companies with the military.
Center for a New U.S. Security Think Tank research associate Elsa Kania testified before U.S. congressional committees, indicating that the Chinese military has pushed for research into brain science, gene editing, and the creation of artificial genomes, with the aim of creating applications in future biological weapons.
According to Kania, BGI’s pattern of collaboration with the Chinese military was a “reasonable concern to raise” for U.S. officials, Reuters reported.
Under the Donald Trump administration, Chinese technology companies have been under scrutiny, and in November, the Commerce Department proposed a rule to add gene-editing software to the U.S. export control list, given concerns that the software would be employed to create biological weapons.