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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tula urges Gallagher Biden administration to blacklist Chinese biotech companies

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), And Republican Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) Sept. 30 called on the Biden administration to blacklist Chinese biotech companies, citing U.S. national security concerns and the Chinese regime’s ambitions to dominate biotechnology. “

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raymondo and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (PDF), Republican lawmakers called on the Shenzhen-based company Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) and others to join the Treasury Department. -SDN Chinese Military Industry Complex Company List, Commerce Department Entity List, and Defense Department Chinese Military Company List.

The pair argued that Beijing wanted to use biotechnology for military purposes against US interests, and that the BGI, which runs China’s national gene database, had a history of cooperation with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as part of Chinese rule. The strategy of “military-civil fusion”.

Beijing has been collecting American healthcare data for years, using illegal methods such as cyber hacking, investing in American biotech companies and partnering with hospitals and universities to access sensitive information.

The BGI “engages in activities contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests, and is a clear military-civilian fusion contributor to China’s defense industry base,” they wrote.

In addition, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) focus on biotech has expanded to its potential military application, lawmakers warned, citing a 2017 publication of how the former head of the PLA National Defense University identified biology as seven “new battlefields.” With the possibility of genetic invasion “.

The pair said BGI had bought US companies and was working to “reduce the global DNA sequencing market” using state subsidies.

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“The BGI and at least 14 Chinese companies perform genomic sequencing for US healthcare patients. As required by Chinese law, these companies have almost certainly shared this data with the Chinese government,” they wrote. Maybe – which is particularly relevant because BGI’s National Gene Bank has probably been made available for military research. “

Cotton and Gallagher added in their letter, “The United States should not turn a blind eye to the threat posed by CCP-directed Chinese biotechnology companies.” “Blacklisting BGI and its associate biotech companies will help Americans deal with the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to capture the most personal information of Americans – their DNA.”

In February, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) said in a fact sheet (PDF) that huge amounts of genomic information (a person’s complete genetic sequence) could improve the sophistication of accurate medicine (or personalized) medicine. , Allowing China to overtake the United States to become a global leader in biotech.

According to the NCSC, such information can be used as a weapon to target individuals in the country for intelligence and military operations.

The Epoch Times contacted the White House for comment.

Cathy she contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen

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Isabel Van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a reporter for The Epoch Times. He holds a Masters in Journalism from the City, University of London.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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