BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The recent revelation of the U.S. biological military activities in Ukraine has sparked widespread concerns, but it just disclosed the tip of the iceberg in the U.S. "biological military empire" across the world.
Shrouded in secrecy, the extensive U.S. biological military activities also pose serious threats to global health and stability. Nonetheless, U.S. politicians have remained obstinate, even dismissing the international community's concerns as disinformation.
According to official data, the United States has 26 biolabs and other related facilities in Ukraine, over which the Pentagon has complete command. Furthermore, all dangerous pathogens in Ukraine are demanded to be stored in these labs, and all research activities are overseen by the U.S. side. No information can be released to the public without the approval of the United States.
Using such pretexts as cooperating to reduce biological safety risks and strengthening global public health, the U.S. has 336 biological labs in 30 countries under its control. However, Washington's pretexts can fool no one.
The U.S. Department of Defense works with the host countries' health authorities in many of the so-called U.S. cooperative biological engagement programs overseas. In other words, rather than a neutral civilian research agency or U.S. health authorities, the U.S. military directly funds, manages, and operates the biological laboratories outside the country.
The United States has also conducted many biological military activities at the Fort Detrick base at home. Notoriously known for being "the center of the U.S. government's darkest experiments," Fort Detrick, where the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease is located, is the center of U.S. biological military activities and infamous for its illegal, non-transparent and unsafe practices.
U.S. biological institutions, such as the Fort Detrick base, have posed a serious health risk to the people of the host countries. In 2021, a South Korean civic group sued the Fort Detrick base and the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) over the smuggled toxic substances to U.S. military bases in the Asian country in violation of domestic law.
According to the complaint by the Korea Fire Safety Education Culture Association, the USFK and the Fort Detrick biolab violated the South Korean law and imported toxic substances into the country three times between 2017 and 2019.
A probe by the U.S. Department of Defense, released in July 2015, also found that a U.S. military lab in the U.S. state of Utah had failed to neutralize live anthrax spores and shipped the toxic samples to researchers in 86 laboratories in the United States and seven other countries, including South Korea.
The international community has long been concerned about the United States' biological military activities. The world urgently needs to know what the United States has been doing at Fort Detrick and the 336 biological labs around the world, as well as whether the activities are in accordance with the Biological Weapons Convention.
Unfortunately, for the past two decades, the United States has stood alone in obstructing the establishment of a BWC verification mechanism and refusing verification of its biological facilities both at home and abroad.
Biological military activities are a major threat to international peace and security, as well as all countries' security interests. Therefore, it is imperative for Washington to respond seriously to global concerns in an open, transparent and responsible manner, and give a full account of its biological military activities at home and abroad and subject itself to multilateral verification. ■