Several US counterintelligence officials claim that China is weaponizing biotechnology and developing “brain-control weaponry” for potential offensive use.
According to commerce secretary Gina Raimondo, the Asian nation has opted to use biotechnologies for surveillance and tracking in an attempt “to pursue control over its people.”
A senior US official also claimed that China was using emerging biotechnologies to develop future military applications, including gene editing, human performance enhancement, and brain-machine interfaces.
The US commerce and treasury departments have already put the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) and 11 affiliated research institutes on an export blacklist for supposedly helping the Chinese military develop “purported brain-control weaponry” without defining the technology further.
Brain-control weaponry is a term used by an AMMS official to describe any equipment that interferes with and controls human consciousness during combat operations.
“Today’s action highlights how private firms in China’s defense and surveillance technology sectors are actively cooperating with the government’s efforts to repress members of ethnic and religious minority groups,” top Treasury official Brian Nelson told Financial Times.
The Chinese embassy in Washington issued a statement on Friday, calling the recent actions by the US government “unwarranted suppression” that violates free trade rules.
Embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu explained that biotechnology-related development in China has always been “for the well-being” of its people and that the US claims are “totally groundless.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin stressed that the Asian country firmly opposes the move and urged the Biden administration to “rectify its mistaken ways.”
The Chinese officials affirmed that Beijing would take “all essential measures” to uphold the interests of Chinese research institutions.