A Chinese Air Force colonel accused the U.S. of an act of biological warfare claiming the U.S. is responsible for the outbreak of the new strain of bird flu in China.
“People’s Liberation Army Sr. Col. Dai Xu said the United States released the H7N9 bird flu virus into China in an act of biological warfare, according to a posting on his blog on Saturday,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Media reaction to Dai’s allegation spread throughout Asia, with one newspaper’s deputy editor calling on the colonel to “resign and apologize to those who have died from the current bird flu outbreak.”
“Analysts say the colonel’s remarks are a reflection of the growing xenophobic atmosphere within the Chinese military that views the United States as its main enemy,” the Free Beacon reported.
According to the article, Dai is the same officer who accused the U.S. of developing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as a bio-weapon as well.
The article said:
Former State Department intelligence analyst John Tkacik said China’s military was largely to blame for mishandling the 2003 outbreak of SARS. Tkacik said there was speculation when the epidemic began that “the PLA suspects SARS had emanated from its own biological laboratories and was all the more eager to keep it secret.” China is known to have a covert biological arms program.
“Col. Dai Xu is a shameless liar when he accuses the United States of using bio weapons,” Tkacik told the Free Beacon. “He’s probably motivated by a desire to exculpate the PLA for their mishandling of the epidemic—no doubt most Chinese have happily forgotten the episode—as much as by a cynical xenophobia. But, that’s what passes for deep strategic thought at China’s National Defense University these days.
As of Wednesday, nine people have died in China from the H7N9 virus, though human-to-human transmission is not suspected, NBC News reported.
It also said the U.S. is “racing” to develop a vaccine for the virus, though scientists have “no evidence the virus would ever threaten the U.S.”