Confronted with data from Just the News, Blinken concedes concern about China bioweapons program
"I'm telling you that we have real concerns about their compliance," Antony Blinken said in the hearing
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Grilled by Republican Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa) over data made public by Just the News, Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted Thursday that the Biden administration is concerned China is operating an illicit offensive bioweapons program, including through entities funded by the U.S. government.
"I'm telling you that we have real concerns about their compliance [with bioweapons treaty obligations]," Blinken said during a contentious Q&A session led by Perry in the middle of the House Foreign Affairs Committee budget hearing for the State Department.
Just the News released a story last week where it reported new evidence which emerged from the State Department and National Institutes of Health. The departments routed at least $1.7 million in tax dollars to a Wuhan virology lab despite evidence it was tied to the Chinese military — and possibly the communist nation's bioweapons program.
"Did you know about China's offensive biological weapons program and the CCP's academy of military medical sciences?" Perry asked.
"I can't speak to individual institutions," Blinken answered.
Perry continued to press Blinken.
"Are you familiar with the fact that the Academy of Military Medical Sciences worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology who received money from the United States of America?" Perry questioned. "Particularly the State Department, the Defense Department, the USAID, and the NIH? Are you familiar with that?"
"As I said Congressman, I'm familiar with the fact that as a practical matter, there is little difference between reportedly private organizations and the state," he responded. "And the fact that there was collaboration or would be collaboration between this particular institute and the state, including the Chinese military, is certainly no surprise."