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Two top lawmakers on the House’s committee focused on China have reached out to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, calling for a briefing on the Pentagon’s review regarding the association of certain Chinese biotechnology firms with military endeavors.

The request, jointly issued by the committee’s outgoing chairman, Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin, and its top Democrat, Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, seeks to ascertain if these entities should be included on a “civil-military fusion list.”

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In their letter, the lawmakers said, “The People’s Republic of China’s 14th five-year plan identifies dominance in biotechnology as critical to ‘strengthen China’s science and technological power’ and calls to deepen military-civil science and technology collaboration in the sector. Urgent action is needed to identify the Chinese biotechnology entities at the forefront of this work.”

This comes after the FY21 defense policy bill mandated maintaining a list of Chinese military companies. This requires the US government to track entities contributing to the Chinese defense-industrial base’s military-civil fusion strategy.

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Although being listed does not directly trigger sanctions, it effectively bars the Defense Department from acquiring goods or services from these identified firms.

Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi identified six Chinese biotech companies for potential inclusion on the Pentagon’s list of Chinese military firms in their letter. These companies include Innomics (the US as a subsidiary of China’s BGI Americas Corp), STOmics (another BGI subsidiary), MGI Group, Origincell, Vazyme Biotech, and Axibo.


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