[Opinion] PLA’s Biowarfare Textbook Explained – Chapter 4 (Part 2)

Author: Billwilliam Reviewer: Irene

This is a summary of Chapter 4 (part 2) of the PLA’s biowarfare textbook “The Unnatural Origin of SARS-1 and the Man-made Human Virus as a Genetic Bioweapon“. This part is perhaps the holy grail of the book since it defines a gold standard of how to determine whether an emerging pathogen belongs to bioweapon. Creators of novel bioweapons apply serial passage or adaptive trials in animal models to erase the marks of gene editing, but the unnatural evolution rate is the telltale sign. In short, a virus is likely an artificially made bioweapon if it evolves several times faster than natural evolution. I will first explain section 5 of this chapter because it is about the critical gold standard. And then I will go back to explain section 4.

The threat of World War III

The People’s Liberation Army is probably preparing to fight World War III with bioweapons. In section 5, page 130, the book stated, “Colonel Ainscough’s conclusion said: ‘There are those who say: the first World War was chemical; the Second World War was nuclear, and that the Third World War — God forbid — will be biological.’ There are two meanings: Firstly, the First and Second World Wars were chemical and nuclear wars, respectively; the Third World War will certainly be biowarfare. Secondly, these advanced weapons are the key factors determining the fate of the war. Colonel Ainscough probably believed that the two atomic bombs forced Japan to surrender, laying the foundation for victory in World War II; so, the core weapon for victory in World War III will be bioweapons!” The original Chinese text is shown below.

The gold standard to identify contemporary gene bioweapons

The book defined the gold standard in section 5 on page 125, “Definition: the gold standard to recognize contemporary gene bioweapons is that the occurrence or transmission process of an emerging disease or the evolutionary process of the pathogen or pathogenic gene doesn’t fit with their respective natural course of progression!” The original Chinese text is shown below.  

The PLA proposes their own gold standard of how to identify new contemporary bioweapons. If a virus evolves too fast or has an abnormal transmission pattern, it is likely a bioweapon. The authors then used SARS-1 as an example to explain why it is likely a bioweapon as judged by the gold standard.

  • SARS-1 evolved from its most recent common ancestor in 4.08 years. This short time is incompatible with natural evolution, so SARS-1 is unnatural in origin.
  • The direct ancestor of SARS-1 doesn’t exist in nature, so the PLA authors believed it was created by “terrorists”. The book stated on page 125: “The disease-causing pathogen’s or pathogenic gene’s director ancestor doesn’t exist in nature or among the human population. Because it (SARS-1) is a new, lab-created virus strain, its direct ancestor cannot exist in nature or naturally among the human population. Its only reservoir is in the terrorists’ laboratories.” The original Chinese text is shown below.
  • The pathogen (SARS-1) entered China by an unnatural route. Masked palm civets were thought to be the animal source of infection. However, only civets sold in two wet markets in Guangzhou and Shenzhen tested positive for the SARS-1 virus. The authors believed the civets could have been imported from abroad. (page 126)
  • The SARS-1 outbreak displayed abnormal epidemiological patterns.    

The definition of contemporary genetic bioweapon and its features

The authors gave the following definition on page 99: “Contemporary genetic bioweapon means employing the ever-advancing biotechnology coupled with animal adaptive trials to modify natural pathogens, their derivatives, or animal/plant, or even human genes to artificially create a novel species or pathogenic gene and to weaponize it.” The original Chinese text is shown below.

A contemporary genetic bioweapon should have the following features: being stealthy (or easy to cover up), high-tech, being an artificial pathogen, persisting for a long time, and targeting specific groups.

  • Contemporary bioweapons are stealthy. The book said on page 99, “Contemporary genetic bioweapon is a group of special, high-tech, very destructive or lethal, amorphous or shaped weapons that are developed with the ever-advancing modern biotechnology through a series of research and experiments, and are targeting populations of different sizes. Here, ‘amorphous’ means it’s very stealthy. Its delivery methods, materials, location, and release time are exceedingly difficult to identify. The persons who release this bioweapon, the researchers, the planners, and the process of dissemination cannot be exposed for various reasons, and the case may have to be closed because no conclusion can be reached.” The original Chinese text is shown below.
  • Contemporary genetic bioweapons are high-tech. The developers will keep adopting the latest technology into their bioweapon programs.
  • Contemporary genetic bioweapons are novel, artificial pathogens that previously don’t exist in nature. The book said on page 99: “Contemporary genetic bioweapon is not limited to the modification of natural pathogens and their derivatives for weaponization or massive application. Instead, it is developing: 1. novel pathogens that don’t exist in nature or are not adapted to humans; 2. non-pathogens that don’t exist in nature, but these new species can cause harm or death to humans; 3. new pathogenic genes or lethal genes that don’t exist in humans.” The original Chinese text is shown below.
  • Contemporary genetic bioweapons can persist for years in the target area and may target specific ethnic groups. The book said on page 99: “Contemporary genetic bioweapon isn’t limited to biological agents that can harm humans or groups in the environment. It can also be: 1. pathogenic agents that have specificity, can target a country or an area, and can persist for a long time or last for generations, like being ‘planted in the area’ or ‘a disease of natural focus’; 2. high-specificity agents that can target certain ethnic groups. But the authors infer there are multiple hurdles to the development and dissemination of such biological agents; 3. biological agents of super high specificity that can target certain individuals.” The original Chinese text is shown below.     

The three categories of contemporary genetic bioweapons

The authors divided contemporary genetic bioweapons into three categories: (1) genetic bioweapon with artificial new species of human virus (passenger type); (2) genetic bioweapon with artificial new species of human virus (ecology type); (3) genetic bioweapon of the pathogenic gene.

  1. The passenger type bioweapon is a novel pathogen that has been genetically edited and later adapted to infect humans by serial passage or adaptive trials in animal models. The passenger-type bioweapon can only infect humans and therefore lacks a reservoir in wild animals. It can only cause one round of outbreak. The authors believed SARS-1 is a passenger-type bioweapon.
  2. The ecology type bioweapon is also modified by serial passage in animal models. Additional adaptive trials between ferrets (animal models for humans) and wild animals in the target area are done to enable the pathogen to infect the wild animals. This type of bioweapon can persist for years because wild animals can function as a reservoir of the pathogen. The authors believed H7N9 avian flu is probably an ecology-type bioweapon. The ecology-type bioweapon can be unleashed by releasing disease-carrying animals into the target area.
  3. Here is how the book described pathogenic gene bioweapon on page 124: “Genetic weapon with the pathogenic gene means targeting certain individuals or certain gene or immune system in certain groups. It is modified by gene editing coupled with other research techniques including a series of animal adaptive trials to create a pathogenic or lethal artificial gene and to be weaponized.” The original Chinese text is shown below.

The pathogenic gene bioweapon may include stealth virus and oncogenes I explained in the previous article about chapter 4 part 1.

Discussion

The PLA’s gold standard can be applied this time to determine whether COVID-19 is an artificial bioweapon. For example, the time to the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) can be calculated between COVID-19 and its template, the Zhoushan bat virus. If COVID-19 evolves much faster than natural evolution, it is a man-made virus of unnatural origin. Remember, COVID-19 and its template are 100% identical in an amino acid sequence of the Envelope protein.

In a case similar to SARS-1, the direct ancestor of COVID-19 couldn’t be found. Dr. Li-meng Yan’s second paper has already debunked fake sequences such as RaTG13 or RmYN02—none of them is the director’s ancestor. Therefore, COVID-19’s direct ancestor is probably stored in a lab within Communist China. The natural animal host of COVID-19 couldn’t be found, either.

Even if the CCP took great lengths to cover up the truth about the current pandemic, there must be traces of evidence about its labs or test animals. A thorough investigation coupled with intelligence can uncover the secrets about the development and delivery of this bioweapon.

If COVID-19 is verified to be a bioweapon, it can be inferred from the textbook that the CCP is fighting World War III with a bioweapon. The most significant feature of this bioweapon is stealth. The CCP unleashed this virus upon civilians in an undeclared war.

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