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The CIA has long been concerned biological threats, including the use of anthrax bacteria, seen above.   © Reuters
The Big Story

China and the new frontier of biosecurity threats

Security experts warn of 'biological extortion' and other emerging risks

HENNY SENDER, Nikkei Asian Review columnist | China

HONG KONG -- When it comes to China and biotechnology, U.S. policy is influenced by a mix of economic considerations, geopolitical issues, reasonable fears and excessive paranoia. All were on display at a congressional committee hearing on the subject in Washington last year.

The hearing -- "China's Pursuit of Next Frontier Tech: Computing, Robotics and Biotechnology" -- was held to examine the national security implications of China's growth as a tech powerhouse. The committee noted that China's five-year industrial plan, outlined in 2016, sought to push further into "dual-use" technologies that have civilian and military applications.

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