The Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of Science and Technology announced the country is constructing three additional biosafety level-4 labs and 88 biosafety level-3 labs.
“China inaugurated the Biosecurity Law on Thursday, which is expected to further fortify the legal shield for the establishment and safe operation of more bio labs as China attaches greater importance to biosecurity as part of national security,” state-run outlet Global Times spun the new law.
Global Times also quoted Wuhan University’s Deputy Director of Pathogen Biology, who described the law as “timely” and “provid[ing] a legal shield for scientific projects on biosafety, including infectious diseases.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Xiang Libin revealed approval for the construction of three biosafety level-4 labs, or P4 labs, and 88 biosafety level-3 labs, or P3 labs. In April 2020, China had just two P4 labs in operation and 81 P3 labs in operation or approved to be built. These new projects represent an increase of over 100 percent in China’s existing P3 and P4 labs.
“With the new law, China aims to enhance the country’s bioscience research level and tackle the prevention and control of potential outbreaks of infectious diseases for animals and plants,” the ministry purported despite several scientists including former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chief Robert Redfield supporting theories that COVID-19 “escaped” from a Chinese lab.