China

Biden Puts Top Chinese Military Medical Institute on Export Control Blacklist

The Biden administration announced that it would add one of China’s top military research centers to an export control blacklist out of a growing concern that Beijing is using emerging medical technologies and “brain control weaponry” to boost its military and oppress Muslim minorities in China.

The PLA-linked Academy of Military Medical Sciences and almost a dozen of its research institutes were added to the Entity List, which bans American technology exports without a U.S. government license. The Department said China’s use of biometrics and so-called “brain control” weapons motivated the ban.

“The scientific pursuit of biotechnology and medical innovation can save lives,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in a statement. “Unfortunately [China] is choosing to use these technologies to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethic and religious minority groups. We cannot allow U.S. commodities, technologies and software that support medical science and biotechnical innovation to be diverted toward uses contrary to U.S. national security.”

Calls to the Chinese embassy for comment were not immediately returned.

The AMMS may be best known globally for its partnership with CanSino Biologics to develop a Chinese COVID vaccine known as Convidecia. That is the one-shot vaccine China has offered to developing countries.The U.S. State Department and intelligence community have maintained for sometime that China’s military has used high-tech to oppress Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in its northwestern province of Xinjiang. 

Among other things, Chinese authorities have used biometric facial recognition software to conduct mass surveillance of residents in the province and have collected DNA samples from the people of Xinjiang between the ages of 12 to 65.

In a separate move, Facebook – now known as Meta – warned some 50,000 of its users that they could have been targets of surveillance software and announced it would ban seven commercial surveillance-for-hire services from its social media sites. One of those organizations is based in China.

Dina Temple-Raston

Dina Temple-Raston is the host and executive producer of the Click Here podcast as well as a senior correspondent at The Record. She previously served on NPR’s Investigations team focusing on breaking news stories and national security, technology, and social justice and hosted and created the award-winning Audible Podcast “What Were You Thinking.” She was a longtime foreign correspondent for Bloomberg News in China and served as Bloomberg’s White House correspondent during the Clinton Administration. She is the author of four books, including “The Jihad Next Door: Rough Justice in the Age of Terror,” and “A Death in Texas: A Story of Race, Murder and a Small Town’s Struggle for Redemption.”

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