There is insufficient evidence at the moment to confirm or deny that China and Pakistan have conducted collaborative studies on deadly pathogens.
A team of key coronavirus scientists from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology has been conducting experiments of dangerous pathogens in “collaboration” with Pakistan for up to five years under the auspices of China’s opaque Belt and Road infrastructure scheme, the report stated.
The results of five studies conducted by Wuhan and Pakistani scientists have been published in scientific papers, each involving the “detection and characterization” of “zoonotic pathogens” – pathogens that can pass from animals to humans and can cause infectious diseases. Each of the five studies states it was “supported” by the “International Cooperation on Key Technologies of Biosafety along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.” As explained in the report, the project aims to engage Pakistan against India” and “conduct potentially dangerous experiments on foreign soil” without subjecting its own land and people to risk.
The five studies were funded, all or in part, by the “International Cooperation on Key Technologies of Biosafety along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” as per the report, and all the five studies had been supported in various forms by the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It stated that the research center is allegedly testing lethal biological agents in Pakistan and providing “extensive training on the manipulation of pathogens and bio-informatics” to Pakistani scientists and that it had signed a secret three-year deal with Pakistan military’s Defense Science and Technology Organisation (DESTO) which has not been publicly announced before.
Besides the links of these studies, all the sources mentioned in the story are anonymous. Currently, no other evidence is available in the public domain that corroborates the findings of the investigation. International media organizations have neither reported on this nor followed up on the story published by The Klaxon.
The Wuhan-based laboratory has been the epicenter of multiple conspiracy theories regarding the outbreak of the coronavirus. The proposition that the virus could have been manufactured in the laboratory has ebbed repeatedly since the pandemic broke out, but China has consistently denied the allegations. The virus’s origin continues to be debated even though the WHO has stated that all available evidence to date suggests that the virus has a natural animal origin and is not a manipulated or constructed virus. A study published by The Lancet journal stated that researchers concluded in another study that it came from a virus with relatively generalist properties circulating in horseshoe bats.
The governments of both countries have refuted the allegations made in the report. The report said that the Pakistan Foreign ministry called the article was “politically motivated” and a “fake story” and the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan said the story was “fabricated”. Due to the lack of concrete evidence at the moment that confirms or denies the allegations made in this investigation, we have marked this claim unverifiable.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.