KEY POINTS

  • Chinese authorities allegedly carried out human testing
  • Ratcliffe says China is a threat to U.S. democracy and freedom
  • Two scholars said Beijing may be interested in "gene-editing technology"

China could be developing super soldiers with “biologically enhanced capabilities,” similar to Marvel’s Captain America, according to U.S. intelligence. 

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, expressed his view that China poses a national security threat to the U.S. and the rest of the world. 

“If I could communicate one thing to the American people from this unique vantage point, it is that the People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” he wrote. 

The nation’s top intelligence official also said he received reports claiming that Chinese authorities had carried out “human testing” on troops with the intention to create “super soldiers” similar to those in Hollywood films such as “Captain America.”

“There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing's pursuit of power,” Ratcliffe wrote. 

In 2019, two American scholars penned a paper in which they listed “signs” that point to Beijing’s interest in “using gene-editing technology” to biologically enhance human performance, NBC News reported.

The research, published on The Jamestown Foundation’s website, cited a Nov. 10, 2017 article from the state newspaper PLA Daily that was titled “How Gene Weapons Could Affect Future Warfare.”

“Modern biotechnology and its integration with information, nano(technology), and the cognitive, etc. domains will have revolutionary influences upon weapons and equipment, the combat spaces, the forms of warfare, and military theories," a prominent Chinese general said in 2017. 

Ratcliffe’s op-ed arrives amid a continuously souring relationship between the U.S. and China. During Donald Trump’s tenure as president, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on Chinese goods and has required export controls on military technologies. 

The White House has previously blacklisted more than a dozen firms said to have connections with Beijing’s military, including chipmaker SMIC and China International Engineering Consulting Corp. 

Trump has repeatedly referred to the novel coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and “Kung flu.” He also sanctioned several Chinese politicians after reports alleged Beijing had detained, persecuted and sterilized Muslim Uighurs in the Xinjian region. 

Many are expecting President-elect Joe Biden to stick with with Trump's policy of countering China. However, the former vice president may also seek areas of cooperation with the Asian country, BBC News reported. 

Chinese troops take part in marching drills ahead of an October 1 military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China Chinese troops take part in marching drills ahead of an October 1 military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China Photo: POOL / WANG ZHAO