Just over a decade earlier, however, then-Secretary of State Clinton seems to have had a much different perspective.
What are the details?
According to a leaked State Department cable from 2009, Clinton expressed concerns that the Wuhan Institute of Virology — newly accredited with biosafety level 4 clearance — could lead to "biological weapons proliferation."
The cable, obtained via WikiLeaks and unearthed by Human Events, appears to have been sent in June 2009 to member nations ahead of the Australia Group's plenary meeting in Paris, scheduled Sept. 21-25.
According to its website, the Australia Group is an informal forum of countries that "seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons." China is not a member country.
At the outset of the cable, Clinton stated, "We believe it is important to focus on emerging chemical and biological technologies, trends in the trade of CBW-related goods and threats." Later, specifically addressing France, Clinton wrote:
The U.S. believes participants would benefit from hearing about your experiences assisting China in setting up a Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology from the export control and intangible technology transfer perspectives. We are particularly interested to know how China plans to vet incoming foreign researchers from countries of biological weapons proliferation concern.
In 2003, the WIV was approved by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to begin construction of a BSL-4 lab. The project was eventually completed in 2014 with significant help along the way from France.