China Military News & Updates

rockdog

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carrier borne AEW plane KJ-600 first flight



for more information, visit
Yes, it's confirmed from Chinese military forum, full of threads now.



 

AZTEC

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This is big.

A US Military report says that the Chinese military “is ahead of the United States in certain areas”.

The report adds, “it is likely that Beijing will seek to develop a military by mid-century that is equal to—or in some cases superior to—the U.S. military”.
 

Bhurki

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I guess this makes some sense to a military thread.

Beijing high-speed rail link to Tibet begins construction.


Chengdu to Lhasa Line - 1742 km
Cost - $44.7B
Completion - 2025 to 2028
Duration of travel - 9 hrs ( 36 hrs now)
*Chengdu is Western Theatre Command HQ.
 

rockdog

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This is big.

A US Military report says that the Chinese military “is ahead of the United States in certain areas”.

The report adds, “it is likely that Beijing will seek to develop a military by mid-century that is equal to—or in some cases superior to—the U.S. military”.
No worry, this is only for asking money, DOD has their own purpose.

China is still the copymachine with 3rd rate military industry, we are same level as our India friend.
 

rockdog

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I guess this makes some sense to a military thread.

Beijing high-speed rail link to Tibet begins construction.


Chengdu to Lhasa Line - 1742 km
Cost - $44.7B
Completion - 2025 to 2028
Duration of travel - 9 hrs ( 36 hrs now)
*Chengdu is Western Theatre Command HQ.
The latest time of completion is set as 2026, but some part will be operational in the end of 2020, like inside Sichuan province.

The most part inside Tibet will be finished in 2021, now it's 70% completion.
All 120 bridges are general finished.

 

Bhurki

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The latest time of completion is set as 2026, but some part will be operational in the end of 2020, like inside Sichuan province.

The most part inside Tibet will be finished in 2021, now it's 70% completion.
All 120 bridges are general finished.

I did not know they were that far out already.
Whats the part that finishes last?
 

rockdog

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I did not know they were that far out already.
Whats the part that finishes last?
This is the chart of time/avg speed from Chengdu - Lhasa


Take Lhasa - Chengdu road map as illustration (not the railway map):


The railway of 147km (Chengdu - Ya'an) part is operational.
Lhasa - Linzhi part of railway 470KM will be operation by the end of 2021.

For other parts, all the bridges are finished, but still the tunels are under construction...
 

skywatcher

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Top Ten strategic weapons that PLA yearn for

1.Stealth fighter

J20 Mighty Dragon stealth fighter in partial service
JXX/J35 carrier-based stealth fighter in development
J31/FC31 Gyrfalcon stealth fighter in development

2.Advanced nuclear submarine
Type 095 SSN in service
Type 096 SSBN in development

3.Stealth bomber
H20 stealth bomber in development

4.CATOBAR aircraft carrier
Type 003#1 conventional aircraft carrier under construction
Type 003#2 conventional aircraft carrier in planning
Type 004 nuclear aircraft carrier in study

5.Heavy transport helicopter
AHL heavy cargo helicopter in development with Russia

6.Coxial rigid rotor high speed helicopter
no news

7.Super heavy transport lifter
no news

8.Heavy combat helicopter
no news

9.Tilt-rotor aircraft
no news

0.VTOL/STOL fighter
no news
 
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FOXBAT ALOK

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Chinese fighter aircraft taken down by bird

SOURCE : https://defenceview.in/chinese-fighter-aircraft-taken-down-by-bird/


A Chinese fighter jet suffered a bird strike in-flight during combat training. The bird strike caused a sudden engine shut down, causing the jet to crash.

After many weeks of constant intrusions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) by People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes, Chinese state-run media announced that one of the nation’s fighter jets was taken down by a bird.


According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND), PLAAF aircraft violated Taiwan’s ADIZ on 10 out of 18 days between Sept. 16 to Oct. 3, in a total of 50 sorties. However, the PLAAF’s self-cultivated image of invincibility took a hit in recent days when one of its jets crashed after meeting its match in an avian adversary.


On Oct. 5, the People’s Liberation Army Daily reported that pilot Wang Jiandong (王建東) relayed encountering a bird strike shortly after takeoff. The engine’s in-flight shutdown warning immediately began flashing, and the display screen went black.




After five seconds, emergency backup power kicked in and the cockpit display screen was restored. Wang then tried to push the throttle forward to increase thrust, but there was no response, as the engine had come to a complete stop.

As he was only 272.7 meters above the ground, Wang realized there was no time to return to the base to land and that his jet would soon crash. According to the Chinese state-run mouthpiece, Wang steered the plane away from populated areas “three times” within 37 seconds and aimed it at a rice paddy before ejecting a mere 75.9 meters above the ground and safely landing in a nearby orchard.

Photos of J-10 crash on 2007
Photos of J-10 crash on 2007
After an investigation by the PLA, it was confirmed that the accident was caused by a bird’s impact on the engine of the fighter aircraft during takeoff, causing it to stall; however, the report did not mention the time and location of the incident. The report did state that the pilot is a member of the PLA’s Southern Theater Command, which is where some of the warplanes that have been harassing Taiwan’s ADIZ are based and which would be part of the staging grounds in the event of an invasion of Taiwan.

It is not certain what type of plane was involved in the incident, nor was a location or date given other than “early autumn.” The only hint at the type of aircraft that might have been involved was that the stock image used in the article included a Chengdu J-10 taxiing on a runway.

On Sept. 4, a video surfaced of a PLAAF Su-35 fighter jet crashing in Guilin, Guangxi Province, which is one of the provinces covered in the Southern Theater Command. False news reports alleged that day that Taiwan had shot down the aircraft, but Taiwan’s MND quickly dispelled the rumor, while Beijing never issued an official response.
 

johnq

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China arrests mother of dissident virologist who claimed COVID-19 was made in a ‘military lab’
Chinese authorities have arrested the mother of a Chinese virologist and whistleblower who declared Coronavirus came from a Chinese military lab.

Dr Yan Li-Meng has confirmed her mother’s arrest to The Epoch Times on Monday.

The Chinese virologist who fled to the US in April as she says it’s her responsibility to get the information out before being “disappeared” has said that she made the discovery while she was tasked with investigating person-to-person transmission of the virus at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health when the coronavirus pandemic began.

Dr Yan has also claimed that the Chinese government knew about the spread of the virus before publicly acknowledging it and declared the WHO of being an accomplice with the Chinese regime in the cover-up.

She has also published a report she co-authored recently to support her claims that pointed out that “biological characteristics” of the virus suggest that it didn’t originate from nature.

Meanwhile, WHO bowed to the mounting calls for an independent probe of the origin and spread of the COVID-19 and the organisation’s response to the pandemic from the majority of its member states in May earlier this year.

Though the investigation finally got underway in September and that the independent panel will report its findings in May next year, it remains to be seen how effective the investigation will be given that Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic was not on the itinerary of a separate WHO team sent to China to investigate the origin of the virus.
 

johnq

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Here is the link to the newest article by Dr. Li-Meng Yan (download in pdf format) proving that Covid-19 virus is a bioweapon created in a Chinese military lab, and intentionally leaked out to the world:
SARS-CoV-2 Is an Unrestricted Bioweapon: A Truth Revealed through Uncovering a Large-Scale, Organized Scientific Fraud
The entire paper is very long and I will post it later. For now I am only posting the abstract, while the entire article can be downloaded in pdf format from the link above.

SARS-CoV-2 Is an Unrestricted Bioweapon: A Truth Revealed through Uncovering a Large-Scale, Organized Scientific Fraud

Yan, Li-Meng; Kang, Shu; Guan, Jie; Hu, Shanchang

Two possibilities should be considered for the origin of SARS-CoV-2: natural evolution or laboratory creation. In our earlier report titled “Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route”, we disproved the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 arising naturally through evolution and instead proved that SARS-CoV-2 must have been a product of laboratory modification. Despite this and similar efforts, the laboratory creation theory continues to be downplayed or even diminished. This is fundamentally because the natural origin theory remains supported by several novel coronaviruses published after the start of the outbreak. These viruses (the RaTG13 bat coronavirus, a series of pangolin coronaviruses, and the RmYN02 bat coronavirus) reportedly share high sequence homology with SARS-CoV-2 and have altogether constructed a seemingly plausible pathway for the natural evolution of SARS-CoV-2. Here, however, we use in-depth analyses of the available data and literature to prove that these novel animal coronaviruses do not exist in nature and their sequences have been fabricated. In addition, we also offer our insights on the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 may have originated naturally from a coronavirus that infected the Mojiang miners.

Revelation of these virus fabrications renders the natural origin theory unfounded. It also strengthens our earlier assertion that SARS-CoV-2 is a product of laboratory modification, which can be created in approximately six months using a template virus owned by a laboratory of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The fact that data fabrications were used to cover up the true origin of SARS-CoV-2 further implicates that the laboratory modification here is beyond simple gain-of-function research.

The scale and the coordinated nature of this scientific fraud signifies the degree of corruption in the fields of academic research and public health. As a result of such corruption, damages have been made both to the reputation of the scientific community and to the well-being of the global community.

Importantly, while SARS-CoV-2 meets the criteria of a bioweapon specified by the PLA, its impact is well beyond what is conceived for a typical bioweapon. In addition, records indicate that the unleashing of this weaponized pathogen should have been intentional rather than accidental. We therefore define SARS-CoV-2 as an Unrestricted Bioweapon and the current pandemic a result of Unrestricted Biowarfare. We further suggest that investigations should be carried out on the suspected government and individuals and the responsible ones be held accountable for this brutal attack on the global community.
 

johnq

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Dr. Li-Meng Yan reveals China’s fake science and the COVID-19 cover-up
WION
Washington
Oct 09, 2020, 05.27 PM(IST)
Written By: Lawrence Sellin

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party supported by some Western scientists and a politically-motivated media have desperately tried to convince the world that the COVID-19 virus originated as a bat beta-coronavirus which underwent a natural mutation process and was then acquired by humans after exposure to infected animals.

Undoubtedly, such subterfuge is meant to protect certain vested interests, including the potentially devastating political and economic consequences for China, global corporate and private investment in China and a negative effect on scientific collaboration and research funding of major Western research laboratories.

In her first article, “Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route,” Chinese scientist and whistleblower, Dr. Li-Meng Yan presented the biological evidence demonstrating that the COVID-19 virus was made in a laboratory.

Now, Dr. Yan has published her second scientific article “SARS-CoV-2 Is an Unrestricted Bioweapon: A Truth Revealed through Uncovering a Large-Scale, Organized Scientific Fraud,” which describes the extraordinary lengths the Chinese Communist Party has gone to cover-up the true laboratory origin of the COVID-19 virus in order to escape responsibility for the pandemic.

For months after the start of the outbreak, China flooded the scientific literature with subtle and sometimes not so subtle messages supporting its narrative that COVID-19 is a naturally-occurring disease that “jumped” from animals to humans in the Wuhan seafood market.

After endless media reports and scientific studies, the theory that the Wuhan seafood market was the source for animal–human COVID-19 transmission was totally discredited, even by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On February 3, 2020, “batwoman” Dr. Zheng-Li Shi of the Wuhan Institute of Virology published an article suggesting that COVID-19 originated in bats and a bat coronavirus named RaTG13 was shown to be 96.2% identical to the COVID-19 virus, thus supporting the naturally-occurring theory.

Since then, literally hundreds of scientific articles have used RaTG13 as a basis for investigating the natural origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fact that RaTG13 exists only on paper because no live virus or intact genome of RaTG13 have ever been isolated or recovered.
Dr. Yan and her colleagues now make multiple arguments indicating that RaTG13 is a fabricated virus.

One way to determine if a virus is related to or evolved from another virus, in this case, RaTG13 and the COVID-19 virus, is to compare the synonymous and non-synonymous mutations in the genetic code.

The DNA genetic code, which is composed of combinations of the nucleotides guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine (G, A, C and T), determines the structure of proteins. It does so through groups of three nucleotides called codons that correspond to specific amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and that code is redundant.

For example, the amino acid arginine can be produced by codons CGT, CGA, CTC or CGG, meaning the third nucleotide in the codon is redundant or interchangeable and will still code for arginine. Any change in the first or second nucleotide will produce a different amino acid.

So, a viral genetic code can mutate, but still produce the same amino acid or a “synonymous” outcome. A mutation in the first or second nucleotide in a codon will result in different amino acid, a “non-synonymous” outcome.

In the absence of a major natural or artificial recombinant event, viruses that are naturally related or evolve from each other, as claimed for RaTG13 and the COVID-19 virus, have roughly standard ratios comparing synonymous and non-synonymous mutations.

Dr. Yan’s data show that when the ratios of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations between a critical segment of the RaTG13 and COVID-19 viruses are compared, the result “is abnormal and a violation of the principles of natural evolution.”

The interpretation is that RaTG13 and the COVID-19 virus could not be related to each other through natural evolution and that RaTG13 is a likely fabrication.

In addition, a reconstructed RaTG13 receptor binding domain does not bind to the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 receptors in two species of horseshoe bats, implying that RaTG13 could not exist in a bat population from which it would mutate and infect humans, completely undermining the naturally-occurring theory.

Dr. Yan also questions the accuracy of China’s pangolin (scaly anteater) coronavirus data upon which dozens of scientific studies examining potential natural coronavirus recombination events are based.

In early June, another novel bat coronavirus, RmYN02, which shares a 93.3% sequence similarity to the COVID-19 virus, was identified and used to support the Communist Chinese Party’s argument that the pandemic was a natural outbreak.

In that weak attempt to buttress the naturally-occurring theory, the Chinese authors of the RmYN02 article claim that a proline-alanine-alanine (PAA) amino acid insertion represents an ancestor to the proline-arginine-arginine-alanine (PRRA) furin polybasic cleavage site found in the COVID-19 virus, but not found in any other related bat coronavirus.

The presence of the furin polybasic cleavage site is a marker for genetic manipulation and, therefore, countering that fact would be an important objective of the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda machine.

The RmYN02 hypothesis disintegrates under scrutiny because the PAA sequence is chemically neutral, not basic and it could not cleave anything.

RmYN02 does not even possess the arginine-serine (R-S) cleavage point found in the COVID-19 virus and all related coronaviruses and the published RmYH02 sequence seems to be out of alignment.

Dr. Yan’s second scientific article adds one more nail in the coffin of China’s false theory that the COVID-19 pandemic was naturally-occurring.
 

johnq

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The Comprehensive Timeline of China’s COVID-19 Lies

On today’s menu: a day-by-day, month-by-month breakdown of China’s coronavirus coverup and the irreparable damage it has caused around the globe.

The Timeline of a Viral Ticking Time Bomb


The story of the coronavirus pandemic is still being written. But at this early date, we can see all kinds of moments where different decisions could have lessened the severity of the outbreak we are currently enduring. You have probably heard variations of: “Chinese authorities denied that the virus could be transferred from human to human until it was too late.” What you have probably not heard is how emphatically, loudly, and repeatedly the Chinese government insisted human transmission was impossible, long after doctors in Wuhan had concluded human transmission was ongoing — and how the World Health Organization assented to that conclusion, despite the suspicions of other outside health experts.

Clearly, the U.S. government’s response to this threat was not nearly robust enough, and not enacted anywhere near quickly enough. Most European governments weren’t prepared either. Few governments around the world were or are prepared for the scale of the danger. We can only wonder whether accurate and timely information from China would have altered the way the U.S. government, the American people, and the world prepared for the oncoming danger of infection.

Some point in late 2019: The coronavirus jumps from some animal species to a human being. The best guess at this point is that it happened at a Chinese “wet market.”

December 6: According to a study in The Lancet, the symptom onset date of the first patient identified was “Dec 1, 2019 . . . 5 days after illness onset, his wife, a 53-year-old woman who had no known history of exposure to the market, also presented with pneumonia and was hospitalized in the isolation ward.” In other words, as early as the second week of December, Wuhan doctors were finding cases that indicated the virus was spreading from one human to another.

December 21: Wuhan doctors begin to notice a “cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause.

December 25:
Chinese medical staff in two hospitals in Wuhan are suspected of contracting viral pneumonia and are quarantined. This is additional strong evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Sometime in “Late December”: Wuhan hospitals notice “an exponential increase” in the number of cases that cannot be linked back to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

December 30: Dr. Li Wenliang sent a message to a group of other doctors warning them about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), urging them to take protective measures against infection.

December 31:
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission declares, “The investigation so far has not found any obvious human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infection.” This is the opposite of the belief of the doctors working on patients in Wuhan, and two doctors were already suspected of contracting the virus.

Three weeks after doctors first started noticing the cases, China contacts the World Health Organization.

Tao Lina, a public-health expert and former official with Shanghai’s center for disease control and prevention, tells the South China Morning Post, “I think we are [now] quite capable of killing it in the beginning phase, given China’s disease control system, emergency handling capacity and clinical medicine support.”

January 1: The Wuhan Public Security Bureau issued summons to Dr. Li Wenliang, accusing him of “spreading rumors.” Two days later, at a police station, Dr. Li signed a statement acknowledging his “misdemeanor” and promising not to commit further “unlawful acts.” Seven other people are arrested on similar charges and their fate is unknown.

Also that day, “after several batches of genome sequence results had been returned to hospitals and submitted to health authorities, an employee of one genomics company received a phone call from an official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission, ordering the company to stop testing samples from Wuhan related to the new disease and destroy all existing samples.”

According to a New York Times study of cellphone data from China, 175,000 people leave Wuhan that day. According to global travel data research firm OAG, 21 countries have direct flights to Wuhan. In the first quarter of 2019 for comparison, 13,267 air passengers traveled from Wuhan, China, to destinations in the United States, or about 4,422 per month. The U.S. government would not bar foreign nationals who had traveled to China from entering the country for another month.

January 2: One study of patients in Wuhan can only connect 27 of 41 infected patients to exposure to the Huanan seafood market — indicating human-to-human transmission away from the market. A report written later that month concludes, “evidence so far indicates human transmission for 2019-nCoV. We are concerned that 2019-nCoV could have acquired the ability for efficient human transmission.”

Also on this day, the Wuhan Institute of Virology completed mapped the genome of the virus. The Chinese government would not announce that breakthrough for another week.

January 3: The Chinese government continued efforts to suppress all information about the virus: “China’s National Health Commission, the nation’s top health authority, ordered institutions not to publish any information related to the unknown disease, and ordered labs to transfer any samples they had to designated testing institutions, or to destroy them.”


Roughly one month after the first cases in Wuhan, the United States government is notified. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gets initial reports about a new coronavirus from Chinese colleagues, according to Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar. Azar, who helped manage the response at HHS to earlier SARS and anthrax outbreaks, told his chief of staff to make sure the National Security Council was informed.

Also on this day, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released another statement, repeating, “As of now, preliminary investigations have shown no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infections.

January 4: While Chinese authorities continued to insist that the virus could not spread from one person to another, doctors outside that country weren’t so convinced. The head of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Infection, Ho Pak-leung, warned that “the city should implement the strictest possible monitoring system for a mystery new viral pneumonia that has infected dozens of people on the mainland, as it is highly possible that the illness is spreading from human to human.”

January 5: The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission put out a statement with updated numbers of cases but repeated, “preliminary investigations have shown no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infections.

January 6:
The New York Times publishes its first report about the virus, declaring that “59 people in the central city of Wuhan have been sickened by a pneumonia-like illness.” That first report included these comments:


Wang Linfa, an expert on emerging infectious diseases at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, said he was frustrated that scientists in China were not allowed to speak to him about the outbreak. Dr. Wang said, however, that he thought the virus was likely not spreading from humans to humans because health workers had not contracted the disease. “We should not go into panic mode,” he said.
Don’t get too mad at Wang Linfa; he was making that assessment based upon the inaccurate information Chinese government was telling the world.

Also that day, the CDC “issued a level 1 travel watch — the lowest of its three levels — for China’s outbreak. It said the cause and the transmission mode aren’t yet known, and it advised travelers to Wuhan to avoid living or dead animals, animal markets, and contact with sick people.”

Also that day, the CDC offered to send a team to China to assist with the investigation. The Chinese government declined, but a WHO team that included two Americans would visit February 16.

January 8: Chinese medical authorities claim to have identified the virus. Those authorities claim and Western media continue to repeat, “there is no evidence that the new virus is readily spread by humans, which would make it particularly dangerous, and it has not been tied to any deaths.”

The official statement from the World Health Organization declares, “Preliminary identification of a novel virus in a short period of time is a notable achievement and demonstrates China’s increased capacity to manage new outbreaks . . . WHO does not recommend any specific measures for travelers. WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China based on the information currently available.”

January 10: After unknowingly treating a patient with the Wuhan coronavirus, Dr. Li Wenliang started coughing and developed a fever. He was hospitalized on January 12. In the following days, Li’s condition deteriorated so badly that he was admitted to the intensive care unit and given oxygen support.

The New York Times quotes the Wuhan City Health Commission’s declaration that “there is no evidence the virus can spread among humans.” Chinese doctors continued to find transmission among family members, contradicting the official statements from the city health commission.

January 11: The Wuhan City Health Commission issues an update declaring, “All 739 close contacts, including 419 medical staff, have undergone medical observation and no related cases have been found . . . No new cases have been detected since January 3, 2020. At present, no medical staff infections have been found, and no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission has been found.” They issue a Q&A sheet later that day reemphasizing that “most of the unexplained viral pneumonia cases in Wuhan this time have a history of exposure to the South China seafood market. No clear evidence of human-to-human transmission has been found.”


Also on this day, political leaders in Hubei province, which includes Wuhan, began their regional meeting. The coronavirus was not mentioned over four days of meetings.

January 13: Authorities in Thailand detected the virus in a 61-year-old Chinese woman who was visiting from Wuhan, the first case outside of China. “Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, said the woman had not visited the Wuhan seafood market, and had come down with a fever on Jan. 5. However, the doctor said, the woman had visited a different, smaller market in Wuhan, in which live and freshly slaughtered animals were also sold.”

January 14: Wuhan city health authorities release another statement declaring, “Among the close contacts, no related cases were found.” Wuhan doctors have known this was false since early December, from the first victim and his wife, who did not visit the market.

The World Health Organization echoes China’s assessment: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China.

This is five or six weeks after the first evidence of human-to-human transmission in Wuhan.

January 15:
Japan reported its first case of coronavirus. Japan’s Health Ministry said the patient had not visited any seafood markets in China, adding that “it is possible that the patient had close contact with an unknown patient with lung inflammation while in China.”

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission begins to change its statements, now declaring, “Existing survey results show that clear human-to-human evidence has not been found, and the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out, but the risk of continued human-to-human transmission is low.” Recall Wuhan hospitals concluded human-to-human transmission was occurring three weeks earlier. A statement the next day backtracks on the possibility of human transmission, saying only, “Among the close contacts, no related cases were found.

January 17:
The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection announce that travelers from Wuhan to the United States will undergo entry screening for symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV at three U.S. airports that receive most of the travelers from Wuhan, China: San Francisco, New York (JFK), and Los Angeles airports.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission’s daily update declares, “A total of 763 close contacts have been tracked, 665 medical observations have been lifted, and 98 people are still receiving medical observations. Among the close contacts, no related cases were found.”

January 18: HHS Secretary Azar has his first discussion about the virus with President Trump. Unnamed “senior administration officials” told the Washington Post that “the president interjected to ask about vaping and when flavored vaping products would be back on the market.

Despite the fact that Wuhan doctors know the virus is contagious, city authorities allow 40,000 families to gather and share home-cooked food in a Lunar New Year banquet.

January 19: The Chinese National Health Commission declares the virus “still preventable and controllable.” The World Health Organization updates its statement, declaring, “Not enough is known to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted, the clinical features of the disease, the extent to which it has spread, or its source, which remains unknown.”

January 20: The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission declares for the last time in its daily bulletin, “no related cases were found among the close contacts.


That day, the head of China’s national health commission team investigating the outbreak, confirmed that two cases of infection in China’s Guangdong province had been caused by human-to-human transmission and medical staff had been infected.

Also on this date, the Wuhan Evening News newspaper, the largest newspaper in the city, mentions the virus on the front page for the first time since January 5.

January 21: The CDC announced the first U.S. case of a the coronavirus in a Snohomish County, Wash., resident who returning from China six days earlier.

By this point, millions of people have left Wuhan, carrying the virus all around China and into other countries.

January 22
: WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus continued to praise China’s handling of the outbreak. “I was very impressed by the detail and depth of China’s presentation. I also appreciate the cooperation of China’s Minister of Health, who I have spoken with directly during the last few days and weeks. His leadership and the intervention of President Xi and Premier Li have been invaluable, and all the measures they have taken to respond to the outbreak.”

In the preceding days, a WHO delegation conducted a field visit to Wuhan. They concluded, “deployment of the new test kit nationally suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan.” The delegation reports, “their counterparts agreed close attention should be paid to hand and respiratory hygiene, food safety and avoiding mass gatherings where possible.”

At a meeting of the WHO Emergency Committee, panel members express “divergent views on whether this event constitutes a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ or not. At that time, the advice was that the event did not constitute a PHEIC.”


President Trump, in an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, declared, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.

January 23: Chinese authorities announce their first steps for a quarantine of Wuhan. By this point, millions have already visited the city and left it during the Lunar New Year celebrations. Singapore and Vietnam report their first cases, and by now an unknown but significant number of Chinese citizens have traveled abroad as asymptomatic, oblivious carriers.

January 24: Vietnam reports person-to-person transmission, and Japan, South Korea, and the U.S report their second cases. The second case is in Chicago. Within two days, new cases are reported in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Arizona. The virus is in now in several locations in the United States, and the odds of preventing an outbreak are dwindling to zero.

On February 1, Dr. Li Wenliang tested positive for coronavirus. He died from it six days later.
 

johnq

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I am posting the second part of the first report by Chinese virologist Li-Meng Yan which gives evidence of the Covid-19 virus being created in the Chinese laboratory, Wuhan Institute of Virology. I've posted the first part earlier here. The second part gives the procedures used to create the Covid-19 virus in the lab. I am not including the figures and citations; the full report (in pdf format) with all figures and citations can be accessed via this link:

Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route

Li-Meng Yan (MD, PhD), Shu Kang (PhD), Jie Guan (PhD), Shanchang Hu (PhD)

Rule of Law Society & Rule of Law Foundation, New York, NY, USA.

Correspondence: [email protected]

2. Delineation of a synthetic route of SARS-CoV-2

In the second part of this report, we describe a synthetic route of creating SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting. It is postulated based on substantial literature support as well as genetic evidence present in the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Although steps presented herein should not be viewed as exactly those taken, we believe that key processes should not be much different. Importantly, our work here should serve as a demonstration of how SARS-CoV-2 can be designed and created conveniently in research laboratories by following proven concepts and using well-established techniques.

Importantly, research labs, both in Hong Kong and in mainland China, are leading the world in coronavirus research, both in terms of resources and on the research outputs. The latter is evidenced not only by the large number of publications that they have produced over the past two decades but also by their milestone achievements in the field: they were the first to identify civets as the intermediate host for SARS-CoV and isolated the first strain of the virus; they were the first to uncover that SARS-CoV originated from bats; they revealed for the first time the antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of SARS-CoV infections; they have contributed significantly in understanding MERS in all domains (zoonosis, virology, and clinical studies); they made several breakthroughs in SARS-CoV-2 research. Last but not least, they have the world’s largest collection of coronaviruses (genomic sequences and live viruses). The knowledge, expertise, and resources are all readily available within the Hong Kong and mainland research laboratories (they collaborate extensively) to carry out and accomplish
the work described below.

2.1 Possible scheme in designing the laboratory-creation of the novel coronavirus

In this sub-section, we outline the possible overall strategy and major considerations that may have been formulated at the designing stage of the project.

To engineer and create a human-targeting coronavirus, they would have to pick a bat coronavirus as the template/backbone. This can be conveniently done because many research labs have been actively collecting bat coronaviruses over the past two decades. However, this template virus ideally should not be one from Dr. Zhengli Shi’s collections, considering that she is widely known to have been engaged in gain-of-function studies on coronaviruses. Therefore, ZC45 and/or ZXC21, novel bat coronaviruses discovered and owned by military laboratories, would be suitable as the template/backbone. It is also possible that these military laboratories had discovered other closely related viruses from the same location and kept some unpublished. Therefore, the actual template could be ZC45, or ZXC21, or a close relative of them. The postulated pathway described below would be the same regardless of which one of the three was the actual template.

Once they have chosen a template virus, they would first need to engineer, through molecular cloning, the Spike protein so that it can bind hACE2. The concept and cloning techniques involved in this manipulation have been well-documented in the literature. With almost no risk of failing, the template bat virus could then be converted to a coronavirus that can bind hACE2 and infect humans.

Second, they would use molecular cloning to introduce a furin-cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction of Spike. This manipulation, based on known knowledge, would likely produce a strain of coronavirus that is a more infectious and pathogenic.

Third, they would produce an ORF1b gene construct. The ORF1b gene encodes the polyprotein Orf1b, which is processed post-translationally to produce individual viral proteins: RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), helicase, guanidine-N7 methyltransferase, uridylate-specific endoribonuclease, and 2’-O-methyltransferase. All of these proteins are parts of the replication machinery of the virus. Among them, the RdRp protein is the most crucial one and is highly conserved among coronaviruses. Importantly, Dr. Zhengli Shi’s laboratory uses a PCR protocol, which amplifies a particular fragment of the RdRp gene, as their primary method to detect the presence of coronaviruses in raw samples (bat fecal swap, feces, etc). As a result of this practice, the Shi group has documented the sequence information of this short segment of RdRp for all coronaviruses that they have successfully detected and/or collected.

Here, the genetic manipulation is less demanding or complicated because Orf1b is conserved and likely Orf1b from any ß coronavirus would be competent enough to do the work. However, we believe that they would want to introduce a particular Orf1b into the virus for one of the two possible reasons:

1. Since many phylogenetic analyses categorize coronaviruses based on the sequence similarity of the RdRp gene only, having a different RdRp in the genome therefore could ensure that SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21 are separated into different groups/sub-lineages in phylogenetic studies. Choosing an RdRp gene, however, is convenient because the short RdRp segment sequence has been recorded for all coronaviruses ever collected/detected. Their final choice was the RdRp sequence from bat coronavirus RaBtCoV/4991, which was discovered in 2013. For RaBtCoV/4991, the only information ever published was the sequence of its short RdRp segment, while neither its full genomic sequence nor virus isolation were ever reported. After amplifying the RdRp segment (or the whole ORF1b gene) of RaBatCoV/4991, they would have then used it for subsequent assembly and creation of the genome of SARS-CoV-2. Small changes in the RdRp sequence could either be introduced at the beginning (through DNA synthesis) or be generated via passages later on. On a separate track, when they were engaged in the fabrication of the RaTG13 sequence, they could have started with the short RdRp segment of RaBtCoV/4991 without introducing any changes to its sequence, resulting in a 100% nucleotide sequence identity between the two viruses on this short RdRp segment. This RaTG13 virus could then be claimed to have been discovered back in 2013.

2. The RdRp protein from RaBatCoV/4991 is unique in that it is superior than RdRp from any other ß coronavirus for developing antiviral drugs. RdRp has no homologs in human cells, which makes this essential viral enzyme a highly desirable target for antiviral development. As an example, Remedesivir, which is currently undergoing clinical trials, targets RdRp. When creating a novel and human-targeting virus, they would be interested in developing the antidote as well. Even though drug discovery like this may not be easily achieved, it is reasonable for them to intentionally incorporate a RdRp that is more amenable for antiviral drug development.

Fourth, they would use reverse genetics to assemble the gene fragments of spike, ORF1b, and the rest of the template ZC45 into a cDNA version of the viral genome. They would then carry out in vitro transcription to obtain the viral RNA genome. Transfection of the RNA genome into cells would allow the recovery of live and infectious viruses with the desired artificial genome.

Fifth, they would carry out characterization and optimization of the virus strain(s) to improve the fitness, infectivity, and overall adaptation using serial passage in vivo. One or several viral strains that meet certain criteria would then be obtained as the final product(s).

2.2 A postulated synthetic route for the creation of SARS-CoV-2

In this sub-section, we describe in more details how each step could be carried out in a laboratory setting using available materials and routine molecular, cellular, and virologic techniques. A diagram of this process is shown in Figure 8. We estimate that the whole process could be completed in approximately 6 months.

Step 1: Engineering the RBM of the Spike for hACE2-binding (1.5 months)

The Spike protein of a bat coronavirus is either incapable of or inefficient in binding hACE2 due to the missing of important residues within its RBM. This can be exemplified by the RBM of the template virus ZC45 (Figure 4). The first and most critical step in the creation of SARS-CoV-2 is to engineer the Spike so that it acquires the ability to bind hACE2. As evidenced in the literature, such manipulations have been carried out repeatedly in research laboratories since 2008, which successfully yielded engineered coronaviruses with the ability to infect human cells. Although there are many possible ways that one can engineer the Spike protein, we believe that what was actually undertaken was that they replaced the original RBM with a designed and possibly optimized RBM using SARS’ RBM as a guide. As described in part 1, this theory is supported by our observation that two unique restriction sites, EcoRI and BstEII, exist at either end of the RBM in the SARS-CoV-2 genome(figure 5A) and by the fact that such RBM-swap has been successfully carried out by Dr. Zhengli Shi and by her long-term collaborator and structure biology expert, Dr. Fang Li.

Although ZC45 spike does not contain these two restriction sites (Figure 5B), they can be introduced very easily. The original spike gene would be either amplified with RT-PCR or obtained through DNA synthesis (some changes could be safely introduced to certain variable regions of the sequence) followed by PCR. The gene would then be cloned into a plasmid using restriction sites other than EcoRI and BstEII.

Once in the plasmid, the spike gene can be modified easily. First, an EcoRI site can be introduced by converting the highlighted “gaacac” sequence (Figure 5B) to the desired “gaattc” (Figure 5A). The difference between them are two consecutive nucleotides. Using the commercially available QuikChange Site-Directed Mutagenesis kit, such a di-nucleotide mutation can be generated in no more than one week.
Subsequently, the BstEII site could be similarly introduced at the other end of the RBM. Specifically, the “gaatacc” sequence (Figure 5B) would be converted to the desired “ggttacc” (Figure 5A), which would similarly require a week of time.

Once these restriction sites, which are unique within the spike gene of SARS-CoV-2, were successfully introduced, different RBM segments could be swapped in conveniently and the resulting Spike protein subsequently evaluated using established assays.

As described in part 1, the design of an RBM segment could be well-guided by the high-resolution structures (Figure 3), yielding a sequence that resembles the SARS RBM in an intelligent manner. When carrying out the structure-guided design of the RBM, they would have followed the routine and generated a few (for example a dozen) such RBMs with the hope that some specific variant(s) may be superior than others in binding hACE2. Once the design was finished, they could have each of the designed RBM genes commercially synthesized (quick and very affordable) with an EcoRI site at the 5’-end and a BstEII site at the 3’-end. These novel RBM genes could then be cloned into the spike gene, respectively. The gene synthesis and subsequent cloning, which could be done in a batch mode for the small library of designed RBMs, would take approximately one month.

These engineered Spike proteins might then be tested for hACE2-binding using the established pseudotype virus infection assays. The engineered Spike with good to exceptional binding affinities would be selected. (Although not necessary, directed evolution could be involved here (error-prone PCR on the RBM gene), coupled with either an in vitro binding assay or a pseudotype virus infection assay, to obtain an RBM that binds hACE2 with exceptional affinity.)

Given the abundance of literature on Spike engineering and the available high-resolution
structures of the Spike-hACE2 complex, the success of this step would be very much guaranteed. By the end of this step, as desired, a novel spike gene would be obtained, which encodes a novel Spike protein capable of binding hACE2 with high affinity.

Step 2: Engineering a furin-cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction (0.5 month)

The product from Step 1, a plasmid containing the engineered spike, would be further modified to include a furin-cleavage site (segment indicated by green lines in Figure 4) at the S1/S2 junction. This short stretch of gene sequence can be conveniently inserted using several routine cloning techniques, including QuikChange Site-Directed PCR, overlap PCR followed by restriction enzyme digestion and ligation, or Gibson assembly. None of these techniques would leave any trace in the sequence. Whichever cloning method was the choice, the inserted gene piece would be included in the primers, which would be designed, synthesized, and used in the cloning. This step, leading to a further modified Spike with the furin-cleavage site added at the S1/S2 junction, could be completed in no more than two weeks.

Step 3: Obtain an ORF1b gene that contains the sequence of the short RdRp segment from RaBtCoV/4991 (1 month, yet can be carried out concurrently with Steps 1 and 2)

Unlike the engineering of Spike, no complicated design is needed here, except that the RdRp gene segment from RaBtCoV/4991 would need to be included. Gibson assembly could have been used here. In this technique, several fragments, each adjacent pair sharing 20-40 bp overlap, are combined together in one simple reaction to assemble a long DNA product. Two or three fragments, each covering a significant section of the ORF1b gene, would be selected based on known bat coronavirus sequences. One of these fragments would be the RdRp segment of RaBtCoV/4991. Each fragment would be PCR amplified with proper overlap regions introduced in the primers. Finally, all purified fragments would be pooled equimolar concentrations and added to the Gibson reaction mixture, which, after a short incubation, would yield the desired ORF1b gene in whole.

Step 4: Produce the designed viral genome using reverse genetics and recover live viruses (0.5 month)

Reverse genetics have been frequently used in assembling whole viral genomes, including coronavirus genomes. The most recent example is the reconstruction of the SARS-CoV-2 genome using the transformation-assisted recombination in yeast. Using this method, the Swiss group assembled the entire viral genome and produced live viruses in just one week. This efficient technique, which would not leave any trace of artificial manipulation in the created viral genome, has been available since 2017. In addition to the engineered spike gene (from steps 1 and 2) and the ORF1b gene (from step 3), other fragments covering the rest of the genome would be obtained either through RT-PCR amplification from the template virus or through DNA synthesis by following a sequence slightly altered from that of the template virus. We believe that the latter approach was more likely as it would allow sequence changes introduced into the variable regions of less conserved proteins, the process of which could be easily guided by multiple sequence alignments. The amino acid sequences of more conserved functions, such as that of the E protein, might have been left unchanged. All DNA fragments would then be pooled together and transformed into yeast, where the cDNA version of the SARS-CoV-2 genome would be assembled via transformation-assisted recombination. Of course, an alternative method of reverse genetics, one of which the WIV has successfully used in the past, could also be employed. Although some earlier reverse genetics approaches may leave restriction sites at where different fragments would be joined, these traces would be hard to detect as the exact site of ligation can be anywhere in the ~30kb genome. Either way, a cDNA version of the viral genome would be obtained from the reverse genetics experiment.
Subsequently, in vitro transcription using the cDNA as the template would yield the viral RNA genome, which upon transfection into Vero E6 cells would allow the production of live viruses bearing all of the designed properties.

Step 5: Optimize the virus for fitness and improve its hACE2-binding affinity in vivo (2.5-3 months)

Virus recovered from step 4 needs to be further adapted undergoing the classic experiment – serial passage in laboratory animals. This final step would validate the virus’ fitness and ensure its receptor-oriented adaptation toward its intended host, which, according to the analyses above, should be human. Importantly, the RBM and the furin-cleavage site, which were introduced into the Spike protein separately, would now be optimized together as one functional unit. Among various available animal models (e.g. mice, hamsters, ferrets, and monkeys) for coronaviruses, hACE2 transgenic mice (hACE2-mice) should be the most proper and convenient choice here. This animal model has been established during the study of SARS-CoV and has been available in the Jackson Laboratory for many years.

The procedure of serial passage is straightforward. Briefly, the selected viral strain from step 4, a precursor of SARS-CoV-2, would be intranasally inoculated into a group of anaesthetized hACE2-mice. Around 2-3 days post infection, the virus in lungs would usually amplify to a peak titer. The mice would then be sacrificed and the lungs homogenized. Usually, the mouse-lung supernatant, which carries the highest viral load, would be used to extract the candidate virus for the next round of passage. After approximately 10~15 rounds of passage, the hACE2-binding affinity, the infection efficiency, and the lethality of the viral strain would be sufficiently enhanced and the viral genome stabilized. Finally, after a series of characterization experiments (e.g. viral kinetics assay, antibodies response assay, symptom observation and pathology examination), the final product, SARS-CoV-2, would be obtained, concluding the whole creation process. From this point on, this viral pathogen could be amplified (most probably using Vero E6 cells) and produced routinely.

It is noteworthy that, based on the work done on SARS-CoV, the hACE2-mice, although suitable for SARS-CoV-2 adaptation, is not a good model to reflect the virus’ transmissibility and associated clinical symptoms in humans. We believe that those scientists might not have used a proper animal model (such as the golden Syrian hamster) for testing the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 before the outbreak of COVID-19. If they had done this experiment with a proper animal model, the highly contagious nature of SARS-CoV-2 would be extremely evident and consequently SARS-CoV-2 would not have been described as “not causing human-to-human transmission” at the start of the outbreak.

We also speculate that the extensive laboratory-adaptation, which is oriented toward enhanced transmissibility and lethality, may have driven the virus too far. As a result, SARS-CoV-2 might have lost the capacity to attenuate on both transmissibility and lethality during its current adaptation in the human population. This hypothesis is consistent with the lack of apparent attenuation of SARS-CoV-2 so far despite its great prevalence and with the observation that a recently emerged, predominant variant only shows improved transmissibility.

Serial passage is a quick and intensive process, where the adaptation of the virus is accelerated. Although intended to mimic natural evolution, serial passage is much more limited in both time and scale. As a result, less random mutations would be expected in serial passage than in natural evolution. This is particularly true for conserved viral proteins, such as the E protein. Critical in viral replication, the E protein is a determinant of virulence and engineering of it may render SARS-CoV-2 attenuated.
Therefore, at the initial assembly stage, these scientists might have decided to keep the amino acid sequence of the E protein unchanged from that of ZC45/ZXC21. Due to the conserved nature of the E protein and the limitations of serial passage, no amino acid mutation actually occurred, resulting in a 100% sequence identity on the E protein between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21. The same could have happened to the marks of molecular cloning (restriction sites flanking the RBM). Serial passage, which should have partially naturalized the SARS-CoV-2 genome, might not have removed all signs of artificial manipulation.

3. Final remarks

Many questions remain unanswered about the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Prominent virologists have implicated in a Nature Medicine letter that laboratory escape, while not being entirely ruled out, was unlikely and that no sign of genetic manipulation is present in the SARS-CoV-2 genome. However, here we show that genetic evidence within the spike gene of SARS-CoV-2 genome (restriction sites flanking the RBM; tandem rare codons used at the inserted furin-cleavage site) does exist and suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 genome should be a product of genetic manipulation. Furthermore, the proven concepts, well-established techniques, and knowledge and expertise are all in place for the convenient creation of this novel coronavirus in a short period of time.

Motives aside, the following facts about SARS-CoV-2 are well-supported:
1. If it was a laboratory product, the most critical element in its creation, the backbone/template virus (ZC45/ZXC21), is owned by military research laboratories.
2. The genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 has likely undergone genetic engineering, through which the virus has gained the ability to target humans with enhanced virulence and infectivity.
3. The characteristics and pathogenic effects of SARS-CoV-2 are unprecedented. The virus is highly transmissible, onset-hidden, multi-organ targeting, sequelae-unclear, lethal, and associated with various symptoms and complications.
4. SARS-CoV-2 caused a world-wide pandemic, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and shutting down the global economy. It has a destructive power like no other.
Judging from the evidence that we and others have gathered, we believe that finding the origin of SARS-CoV-2 should involve an independent audit of the WIV P4 laboratories and the laboratories of their close collaborators. Such an investigation should have taken place long ago and should not be delayed any further.

We also note that in the publication of the chimeric virus SHC015-MA15 in 2015, the attribution of funding of Zhengli Shi by the NIAID was initially left out. It was reinstated in the publication in 2016 in a corrigendum, perhaps after the meeting in January 2016 to reinstate NIH funding for gain-of-function research on viruses. This is an unusual scientific behavior, which needs an explanation for. What is not thoroughly described in this report is the various evidence indicating that several coronaviruses recently published (RaTG13, RmYN02, and several pangolin coronaviruses) are highly suspicious and likely fraudulent. These fabrications would serve no purpose other than to deceive the scientific community and the general public so that the true identity of SARS-CoV-2 is hidden.
Although exclusion of details of such evidence does not alter the conclusion of the current report, we do believe that these details would provide additional support for our contention that SARS-CoV-2 is a laboratory-enhanced virus and a product of gain-of-function research. A follow-up report focusing on such additional evidence is now being prepared and will be submitted shortly.
 

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