December 4, 2020

China doing human testing to create ‘super soldiers’: US official

[New York Post, Getty Images]

China’s soldiers are marching off the battlefield — and into the biology lab.

Members of China’s People’s Liberation Army were subjected to science fiction-style human testing to create “biologically enhanced” super soldiers, a top US intelligence official said Friday.

The Middle Kingdom is launching “unethical” military experiments that sound fit for the superhero flick “Captain America,” John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

“There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power,” Ratcliffe proclaims, citing US intelligence. “People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today.”

Chinese military vehicles carrying DF-17 ballistic missiles. AP

The technologically ambitious country has been working to develop “soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities” as part of a scheme to take over “the planet economically, militarily and technologically.”

The intelligence honcho gave no other details about the human testing — but China has ambitions to use biotechnology during war through the gene-editing technology, scholars said in a research paper last year, according to NBC News.

Ratcliffe’s office and the CIA didn’t immediately return a request for details about the program.

But Chinese researchers in recent years have experimented with the gene-editing tool CRISPR — short for “clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats” — to treat diseases and potentially enhance human performance.

By contrast, Western scientists consider it unethical to manipulate genes to boost the performance of healthy people.

“While the potential leveraging of CRISPR to increase human capabilities on the future battlefield remains only a hypothetical possibility at the present, there are indications that Chinese military researchers are starting to explore its potential,” wrote the scholars, including Elsa Kania, an expert on Chinese defense technology.

“Chinese military scientists and strategists have consistently emphasized that biotechnology could become a ‘new strategic commanding heights of the future Revolution in Military Affairs.’”

In the 2011 flick “Captain America,” the character Steve Rogers undergoes an experiment in which he’s given “super soldier serum” to increase his strength and cure his ailments.

By Natalie O’Neill

Leave a Reply