With hegemonic thinking, the U.S. can't vindicate itself of its bio-military activities

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily) 09:09, April 02, 2022

The U.S.-controlled biological laboratories in Ukraine have recently become a focal point of the international society as the fallout of the news continues.

Russia accused the U.S. of violating the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in Ukraine, while the U.S. denied it and claimed it was based on fabricated evidence given by the Kremlin.

It is no secret that the U.S. hosts the most bio-military activities in the world, and is the only country that opposes the establishment of a verification mechanism for the BWC.

The activities of U.S. biological laboratories matter to the security of global biological safety. However, the White House's response to this grave worry has been denial. It has never offered any valuable or convincing information. Such perfunctory and arrogant response has further exacerbated worldwide society's concerns about the safety of U.S. bio-military actions.

Overseas bio-military activities are a tradition of the U.S. After the end of the Cold War, the country initiated the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program promoted by Richard Lugar and other U.S. senators. The White House claimed that the Soviet Union would be the first to "benefit" from the program, and then the benefits would expand to other parts of the world. Later, hundreds of laboratories were established under the CTR program.

The program, a gigantic bio-military empire, never ceased to cause scandals. Some of the labs reported leakage of highly dangerous pathogens that led to outbreaks of strange diseases, and some collected biological samples of local residents and transferred the samples to the U.S. and its allies for "studies." Many of these labs were poorly managed. Personnel sent by the U.S. Department of Defense had extraterritoriality and diplomatic immunity, so they could always get away with crimes at these labs.

After the U.S.-controlled bio-labs in Ukraine were exposed, the White House tried to vindicate itself with some materials. However, the U.S. doesn't have an innocent history of the development and employment of biological weapons at all.

The U.S. once covered up Shiro Ishii, director of the notorious Japanese Army Unit 731, and other war criminals, so as to make them develop biological weapons for itself. In the Korean War, the U.S. military launched undifferentiated germ warfare against Chinese and Korean forces and even civilians. In Vietnam, the U.S. military used the highly toxic Agent Orange on the battleground, killing and disabling millions of Vietnamese. The U.S. even forced thousands of soldiers into biological medicine tests. These are all evidence of the U.S. poisoning the world.

Former Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari of Indonesia once shut down the lab of the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit-2 during her term. She said the lab didn't make any contribution to Indonesia's capability in coping with biological threats and the studies were not submitted to the Indonesian government. She remarked that establishing laboratories on the territory of an independent country is a kind of colonialism.

The U.S. always takes "cooperating to reduce biological safety risks" as an excuse. However, only the U.S. itself knows whether it is really cooperating and whether it is reducing or increasing the risks.

Recently, a large demonstration was staged in South Korea, requesting the shutdown of U.S. military biological labs established in the country and calling for immediate investigations into these labs. The outrage of the South Koreans came from the United States Forces Korea, which has ignored South Korean laws and regulations and sent poisonous substances to South Korea, including Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. These labs have caused frequent safety accidents, posing huge threats to the lives of South Koreans. Some South Koreans said that the U.S. bio-labs were built for American interests, and are a misfortune for the countries where they are built.

The international society has every reason to know what the U.S. has done. In recent years, the United States has arbitrarily requested that biological weapons verifications be launched in other countries, wielding the big stick of sanctions and even launching military invasions. However, it is ironic that the U.S. is always tolerant of itself and strict with others. It's either arrogantly requesting other countries to stay out of its biological weapon business, or passing the buck to other countries, or just showing its colors and unjustly blaming other countries for "disseminating fake information."

Faced with the accusation from Russia this time, the White House is even acting as a "victim." Such typical American double standard once again exposed the hegemonic thinking of the U.S. It is a huge insult to the countries and people that have been poisoned by U.S. bio-military activities, and is irresponsible to the whole world.

As a response to the Russian accusation and the concerns of the international society, the U.S. should take its responsibility, vindicate itself and stop opposing the establishment of a verification mechanism for the BWC. .The country can never prove itself innocent of hegemony. Only by following international rules and accepting investigations can it give a clear explanation to the world, and that's what is supposed to be done by a major country.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People's Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.) 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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