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1 Feb, 2024 23:25

Russia and China unite over US bioweapons threat

The two countries have pledged to collaborate in confronting dangers posed by the Pentagon’s “biological activities”
Russia and China unite over US bioweapons threat

The Russian and Chinese governments have held an inter-agency meeting in Beijing to share their assessments of biological security concerns, and address the threats posed by bioweapons – particularly those allegedly being developed by the US military.

Moscow and Beijing agreed to work together in seeking to strengthen the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC), a treaty signed by 109 nations in 1972 to block the development of these unconventional armaments, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in a statement.

“The meeting confirmed the unity of approaches of Russia and China to the biological security,” the ministry said, adding that “particular attention in this context was paid to the military and biological activities of the United States.”

“The need for further close coordination and constructive interaction both in bilateral format and at relevant multilateral fora, primarily within the framework of the BTWC, the UN and the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] was noted,” the ministry added.

Russia, China, and 14 other nations issued a joint statement in December calling for strengthening the UN’s policing of biological and chemical weapons. “Convinced that such use would be repugnant to the conscience of humankind, we are determined to condemn any use of toxic chemicals, biological agents or toxins as weapons by anyone, anywhere at any time, and to hold accountable those responsible for any such use,” the statement declared.

Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly pressed for greater transparency from the US and its allies regarding their military biological activities. Wednesday’s talks between the two governments devoted “particular attention” to the Pentagon’s bioweapons activities, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Russian Embassy in Washington accused the US last year of “gross violations” of the BTWC, including illegal bioweapons research in labs scattered around the world. Washington aims to use dangerous biological agents and artificial epidemics to advance its interests, the embassy claimed.

The US and its NATO allies vetoed a UN resolution last year calling for an investigation of Washington’s biolabs in Ukraine. Some “unfinished” bioweapons projects were moved to Africa amid the conflict in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said in November. The ministry accused Washington of exploiting Nigerian citizens as a “free clinical resource,” conducting illegal research on the pretense of public health.

This week’s meetings in Beijing also included talks on Thursday over security threats in outer space. “The sides exchanged their assessments of the current situation in this area,” the Foreign Ministry said. “They stressed the need to continue close cooperation and active joint efforts to prevent an arms race in outer space and its weaponization.”

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