A disturbing 2015 document exposing a Chinese military plan to unleash the SARS coronavirus as a biological doomsday weapon is definitely “genuine”, according to an Australian cyber security specialist.
The briefing document, prepared for China’s People’s Liberation Army by 18 biological warfare experts, is entitled The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons.
In it, the scientists outline how a possible third world war could be fought with an entirely new kind of weapon.
It describes SARS – a close relative of Covid-19 –as part of a “new era of genetic weapons” that can be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponised and unleashed in a way never seen before”.
The document has been revealed in a new book by Australian investigative journalist Sharri Markson, which is due to be published by HarperCollins in September.
Cyber security specialist Robert Potter, who specialises in the analysis of Chinese government leaks, says he is sure that the document is not a hoax.
“We reached a high confidence conclusion that it was genuine, he told news.com.au.
“It’s not fake but it’s up to someone else to interpret how serious it is,” he added.
Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said that in his view the document, revealed in full in Ms Markson’s book What really happened in Wuhan, is a “smoking gun”.
“It begins to firm up the possibility that what we have here is the accidental release of a pathogen for military use,” he said.
Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tunbridge and chair of the government’s foreign affairs committee, told the Daily Mail: ‘This document raises major concerns about the ambitions of some of those who advise the top party leadership,” adding “even under the tightest controls these weapons are dangerous.’
Although there is a good deal of evidence that Covid-19 is a naturally-occurring virus that made the jump from animals to humans, some within the intelligence community still believe the pandemic could have been the result of an accidental leak from a research facility near Wuhan.
There is still no credible evidence to suggest that the virus was was released intentionally.