On December 3rd, U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe authored an opinion piece, published in the Wall Street Journal, eloquently titled “China is National Security Threat No. 1”.
“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically. Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Among other claims, some of which hold water, there are some rather interesting ones.
According to Ratcliffe, China is conducting biological tests in its attempt to create “super soldiers.”
Ratcliffe said China had gone to extraordinary lengths to achieve its goal.
“US intelligence shows that China has even conducted human testing on members of the People’s Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities,” Ratcliffe wrote. “There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power.”
Mistakenly, many analysts and officials within the government’s intelligence agency have been focused on Russia and counter-terrorism efforts, Ratcliffe said:
“But today we must look with clear eyes at the facts in front of us, which make plain that China should be America’s primary national security focus going forward.”
So, according to Ratcliffe, this is a serious concern since back in 2019 there were conspiracy theories that followed reports of a Chinese researcher, He Jiankui, who used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to alter the DNA of embryos for seven couples in 2018.
Although international outrage resulted in Jiankui’s incarceration in China, Ratcliffe suggested the Chinese government would attempt to capitalize on these capabilities with gene editing and continue to experiment on adults to create biometrically advanced super soldiers the likes we have seen only in movies.
Ratcliffe isn’t the first to follow this line of reasoning. In 2019, some researchers posited the Chinese government would attempt to use the gene-editing capabilities of CRISPR to enhance the performance of some soldiers.
“…the PLA is pursuing military applications for biology and looking into promising intersections with other disciplines, including brain science, supercomputing, and artificial intelligence,” Elsa Kania and Wilson Vorndick wrote in Defense One back in 2019.
“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, Elsa Kania, an expert on Chinese defense technology at the Center for a New American Security, and Wilson VornDick, a consultant on China matters and former Navy officer.
“Chinese military scientists and strategists have consistently emphasized that biotechnology could become a ‘new strategic commanding heights of the future Revolution in Military Affairs,'” the scholars wrote, quoting a 2015 article.
Disappointingly, Ratcliffe’s office and the CIA did not immediately respond to requests to elaborate on the notion that China sought to create “super soldiers” and whether China would make them look like Dolph Lundgren (or potentially like Steve Rogers, a.k.a Captain America, just as a sort of joke, maybe).
This all comes down to speculation, but if the Director of US intelligence says so, it could be that Chinese super soldiers are coming.
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