Based on the latest information collected by the US State Department, Chinese military scientists reportedly looked at weaponising coronavirus five years before the Covid-19 pandemic and may have anticipated a World War III waged by biological weapons. The papers allegedly reveal Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) commanders made the sinister prediction, according to the UK’s The Sun ‘newspaper, citing sources first published by’ The Australian’.

Dr. Le-Meng Yan, a Chinese virologist and former post-doctoral fellow at Hong Kong University, claimed that the coronavirus was developed in a research lab in China in a paper published in September last year. It was discovered after a substantial investment by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and was launched as a bio-weapon from a lab.

According to Yan, the leaked documents reveal that genetic engineering of viruses was not the start of China’s study of contemporary bio-weapons in 2015, but rather a phase in the study of bio-weapons for which evidence is now available. But they’ve changed a lot since then, and they’ve hired a lot of laboratories under the guise of silo labs, foreign labs, and collaboration with the military to grow it. After five to six years, they have gained more expertise and experience, which is what allowed COVID-19 to take place.

The PLA papers suggest that a bioweapon assault might bring down the “enemy’s medical system.” It refers to the work of US Air Force colonel Michael J. Ainscough, who believed that bioweapons would be used in World War III. The paper also speculates that SARS, which struck China in 2003, may have been a man-made bioweapon intentionally released by “terrorists.” They allegedly proclaimed that the viruses could be “artificially manipulated into an evolving human disease virus, then weaponized and released in unprecedented ways.”

It’s worth noting that China’s biochemical research is focused on the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The facility includes Asia’s first P4 lab, which cost USD 42 million to construct, as well as the continent’s largest virus bank, with over 1,500 strains. The ‘P4’ mark denotes the highest potential biosafety ranking, which is determined by the level of danger faced by the pathogens tested and the subsequent protective steps. Shi Zhengli, Deputy Director of Wuhan’s P4 lab, raised eyebrows in a June 2020 interview with a US magazine when she said she was initially concerned about the virus leaking from her lab.

Although the bioweapon theory has piqued public interest since the outbreak began, scathing extracts from a supposed Chinese government paper published in a mainstream Australian newspaper have given credence to the claim. The former deputy director of China’s Bureau of Epidemic Prevention, Lee Feng, and Xu Dezhong, the former head of China’s SARS Epidemic Analysis Expert Group, are included in the Australian publication’s list of writers, which poses serious concerns about the country’s biochemical programmes and lack of accountability about the sources of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Furthermore, in March 2020, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stunned the world by launching a global deception operation centred on covid-19. This includes claims by state media and diplomats that the virus was a bioweapon, that Covid-19 did not emerge in China, and, misinformation about Western vaccines.

China was also hesitant to invite foreign experts into the country for an impartial investigation, delaying their entrance for months. As a result, after a WHO panel arrived in Wuhan and ruled out the laboratory event scenario as “highly doubtful,” the international community immediately questioned whether the team of experts leading the investigation had sufficient access. An AFP study reported that the team of experts spent just four hours at the virology institute, an hour at the wet market, and some days inside their hotel without venturing out into the area, further damaging China’s international credibility.

These claims were labelled “outright lies” by China on Monday, accusing the US of attempting to smear the country. However, policymakers will be less shocked and more informed the next time China promotes misinformation during a public health emergency if they learn from the past. Uncovered archives, including declassified Soviet records, can provide proof that China intentionally spread misinformation about covid-19 over time.