A Russian-drafted resolution requesting an investigation into allegations that the US and Ukraine were engaging in “military biological activities” in Ukraine was rejected by the UN Security Council.
China’s Deputy Envoy to the UN, Geng Shuang, called on the international community to pay “full attention” to this issue as China was concerned about Russia’s allegations that the United States was conducting bio-military operations across the Ukrainian territory.
Without mincing words, Geng stated that China thought a thorough and open examination by the UN Security Council might assist in addressing compliance issues and protecting the legitimacy and efficacy of the Biological Weapons Convention Treaty.
“Since this March, Russia has repeatedly submitted to the Security Council the statements on the US’ suspected military actions in the biological area on Ukrainian territory. We believe any evidence on compliance with obligations under the Convention should be the object of the full attention of the international community, deserving proper answers and explanation by respective parties,” the Chinese diplomat noted.
Russia presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on November 2, suggesting setting up a commission to investigate the activities of US biological laboratories in Ukraine.
The draft resolution submitted by Russia was not adopted because there were not enough votes in its favor. Only Russia and China voted in favor of the resolution, with the US, the UK, and France voting against it and the remaining ten members of the Security Council, including India, abstaining.
The deputy UN representative for Russia, Dmitry Polyanskiy, charged that Western nations had scuttled discussions on the proposed resolution. He said, “Western countries are simply fearful of establishing the commission, the kind of commission that would consider the materials presented by Russia and will investigate them.”
‼️????❌☣️????The UN Security Council did not adopt a draft Russian resolution on Wednesday,for the creation of a Security Council commission to investigate the activities of US biological laboratories in Ukraine‼️
— AZ ???? (@AZgeopolitics) November 2, 2022
According to US representative to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, these claims are part of a disinformation campaign by Russia to draw attention away from its atrocities in Ukraine.
However, it is pertinent to note that China’s support for Russia in the UNSC calling for the investigation into biological warfare comes days after Beijing lashed out at a US senate report that claimed that coronavirus first appeared at a lab in the city of Wuhan, dismissing it as a smear campaign.
With calls in Beijing for an investigation going louder, it is reminiscent of America’s calls for Covid-19 investigations in China under Donald Trump’s leadership.
A United China-Russian Front Against The US?
Russia circulated a 310-page document to council members alleging there was “military biological” activity in Ukraine with the support of the US Department of Defense.
Independent scientists, Ukrainian politicians, and officials at the White House and Pentagon have refuted Russia’s claim that America has hidden biological weapons facilities in Ukraine.
According to a March investigation conducted by the Associated Press, the accusations of biological warfare being conducted in Ukraine were taking shape online and bringing together QAnon followers, Covid-19 conspiracy theorists, and some Donald Trump supporters.
However, China has lent support to Russia’s claims since March. China encouraged the US to be open and present concrete facts to support its position during a UN Security Council discussion in March 2022. The US accused China of “spreading disinformation.”
Chinese experts even told the state media Global Times that it would not be surprising if the US were using or developing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), such as biological and chemical weapons, in Ukraine since the country has a long, infamous history of doing so in other nations.
A few weeks into the invasion, a Russian military briefing claimed that the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency was involved in “financing and conducting military biological research on the territory of Ukraine” by presenting documents it said it captured at several facilities during Russia’s military operation in the country.
The Russian Defense Ministry went on to allege that research was conducted, among other things, in labs in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa to explore the possibility of the transmission of highly deadly illnesses through migrating birds.
While China has not directly peddled this version, it has repeatedly called for an impartial investigation to verify these claims. Besides China, North Korea has also chosen to echo Russia’s accusation against the United States.
Chinese military expert Song Zhongping told Global Times in March, “The US won’t allow any investigation on its labs around the globe, and Russia will keep accusing it, and the fact is that the US knows there is no one who can punish it or force it to do anything even if it is found to have been engaged in the nasty behavior like bioweapons tests overseas.”
China’s call for an impartial investigation resembles the US accusations about the lab leak of coronavirus in Wuhan and its call for an independent inquiry.
Beijing came under the scanner in the US Senate once again after releasing a report on how Covid-19 could have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, underscoring that the findings still lack indisputable evidence.
In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “US politicians are rehashing the lab-leak theory to smear China in disregard of facts. Ill intentions drive such acts. This will only hamper science-based origins tracing and undermine international anti-Covid cooperation.”