Precision medicine, a near futuristic reality, is based on genetics and the lifestyle of a person. It is made after understanding the gnome of the human DNA structure and can target certain specific diseases such as Alzheimer’s or cancer. This blessed dream project was initially started by USA which pumped a massive $215 million on research so that precision medicine could be developed to embrace human kind. A remarkable achievement was made when scientists of the university of Wisconsin made an exogenous naked DNA and injected it into veins for easy access into muscles cells for gene therapy. The aim of this great American research was to create a future with less diseases, pain and suffering.
This news did not went unheard by China and PLA Col. Guo Ji Wei, Director of medical affairs made a critical statement stating that “University of Wisconsin scientists have made exogenous naked DNA and injected it into veins for easy access to muscle cells for gene therapy. By combining this knowledge and particle gun technology, we could create a micro bullet out of a 1 um tungsten or gold ion, on whose surface plasmid DNA could be precipitated and deliver the bullet via gunpowder explosion, electron transmission, or high pressure gas to penetrate the body surface. We could then release DNA molecules to integrate with the host’s cells through blood circulation and cause disease or injury by controlling genes” (Link).
In the past 10 years, Chinese government has likely collected genetic information from a large sample of global gene data collected from pregnancy tests, DNA tests (Link). As on date, China allegedly has access to incredible amount of people’s DNA data. A Chinese company BGI was in news to sell international pregnancy tests reports of nearly 8 million women from around the world who took BGI’s pre-natal tests as they were made cheaper than other local medical services. The tests are a private procedure for the women who take them, a component in their routine prenatal care. But the studies show that they yield increasingly potent information for research. One BGI study, for instance, used a military supercomputer to re-analyze NIFTY data and map the prevalence of viruses in Chinese women, look for indicators of mental illness in them, and single out Tibetan and Uyghur minorities to find links between their genes and their characteristics. DNA data collected from prenatal tests on women outside China has also been stored in China’s government-funded gene database, one of the world’s largest, the company confirmed. BGI, in which the Shenzhen city government and Beijing’s largest state investment vehicle took stakes here in 2014, runs that gene bank.
Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Management of Human Genetic Resources states that: National security focus includes special limitations on foreign access (Article 7): “Foreign organizations, individuals and their institutions established or actually controlled, shall not collect or preserve human genetic resources in China within the territory of our country, and may not provide human genetic resources of our country abroad.” This regulation makes China eligible for genetic information of the world and restricts the world from its own (Link)
While US spent $215 million on precision medicine, China nearly spent $9.2 billion on the same (Link). In comparison, the US investment was merely 2% of China. Beijing allegedly also adopted its Civil-Military fusion programme alongside precision medicine in 2016. The actions and statement of China has indicated that may be their emphasis can be in the direction where on weaponization of precision medicine can take place. The recent threats of a war by China (Link) if USA’s COVID origin report blames China, is a clear example. In July 21, China also threatened to continuously use nuclear bombs on Japan if they interfere in Taiwan matter. PLA has also conducted bio warfare drill in Tibet, Guangzhou and other areas in year 2020-21.
During the COVID pandemic, as claimed, Chinese medical test companies provided aid to several countries to conduct tests ranging from COVID tests to blood tests. The countries which allowed Chinese companies to operate with full force within their borders, actually shared the genetic database of their entire country with China. On 12 Nov 20, Chinese embassy in Islamabad issued an official notification (Link) on institutions designated by the Chinese embassy in Islamabad for COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Test. The designated test centers are funded by China and have likely shared their test database with Chinese companies. On 29 Jan 21, Chinese embassy issued similar notifications in several countries where they mentioned four trusted test centers in South Africa (Link), two in Uganda (Link), a Chinese funded test center in Kenya (Link) and named almost all small African nations with some or other Chinese backed test center. In general, a country designates a test center as valid and trust worthy but in the above cases, China directed that which centers should be used to get the tests done as they were backed and funded by the mainland. The data thus collected during nearly 2 years of lock down has important genetic information about multiple African races which are considered as strongest from immunity point of view and Pakistan citizens which are closely associated with Indians, Afghans and Iranians from genetic point of view. The question that remains is if in future a likely bio-weapon requires testing, will these small nations be used as Guinea pigs?