The CoronaVirus outbreak in China has been popularly attributed to the consumption of bat meat, however uncertainty regarding the epidemic’s exact origins has culminated suspicion and certain conspiracies exist as to how the virus may have truly evolved. Where pointing fingers would undeniably be wrong at this point in time, creative speculation, given current world scenarios, is an exercisable right. Discussing possibilities of the virus taking birth as certain developments in bioweaponry would not entirely be unjustified as long as the blame is not explicitly focused. Furthermore, such provocation of thought only serves to make intellectuals more aware of possibilities and thus eventual solutions, also given the fact that the means to create such weapons is no longer a technological impossibility. The objectives of war are essentially defined as subjugation of the enemy or rendering it ineffective for the pursuit of one’s own defined interests; these interests can be different in nature, whether they be economic, political, ideological etc. Classical ideas of war cover the concept of direct military conflict between two or more competing powers in the form of physical clashes and armed struggles between their respective armies. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Where conventional warfare is widely understandable, it is increasingly becoming inefficient and even historically, the rules of war have never explicitly been set or universally been accepted. The minds of warriors are rather innovative and this makes war an ever evolving process. Among the many techniques that are employed by contenders, biological warfare has existed almost since antiquity. Biological warfare employs the use of toxins and microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses to infect, disable, or destroy armed personnel or civilians of rival powers as well as damage their resources such as food crops, water resources etc. Despite the recent nature of the approaching demise of conventional warfare, these unconventional methods, especially biological warfare are not a new thing. Armies and nations throughout history have used toxins, bacteria, and viruses to achieve war objectives and reports of these incidents exist in abundance. History has witnessed arrows dipped in blood and poison to infect those wounded in battlefields, decomposing bodies thrown in wells to pollute water sources leaving them unfit for use by the enemy, the hurling of plague ridden bodies and infected carcasses over city walls in hopes of stirring up epidemics within enemy forces. These actions proved to be extremely effective against those whom they were aimed at and were often a decisive factor in turning the tide of battle. Even in recent history, biological warfare has seen action. Moreover, it has become a more refined process with the artificial creation of infectious organisms and toxins becoming scientifically possible. The development of anthrax as a biological weapon by the German army was perhaps among the earliest testimonies to this fact. Signed in 1925 by over 108 countries, the Geneva Protocol aimed at restricting the use of biological and chemical weaponry. However, it, like most other global treaties, failed at being effective due to the absence of efficient methods to detect compliance or the lack thereof. When it comes to the speculative part, viewing the entire CoronaVirus ordeal in context of the current global scenario and the aforementioned possibility of creating such a menace, there remains room for debate if biowarfare is once again at play. China is the epicenter of this entire crisis and it is undeniable that China does harbor rivals in the global theatre. Although it does not openly engage with its rivals through direct military conflict, diplomatic struggles have been seen to curb Chinese influence on global politics and more importantly, the global economy.
The US-China trade war is no hidden matter with tariffs costing billions of dollars being placed on their counterpart by both sides. The Chinese rise to near supremacy in the global market inevitably creates concerns for the US which sees its own influence being challenged as more countries join the BRI fold and become signatories to trade initiatives with China. Given the drastic impact the outbreak has had on China’s economic growth and the immobility of Chinese citizens, including corporate sector officials, around the globe, certain “otherwise” objectives of war are definitely being achieved in a subversive manner. Moreover, even if the possibility of the outbreak being a bio attack is entirely overlooked, there exists the possibility of certain deliberate escalation of concerns to hinder Chinese trade capacity. With disease outbreaks historically being worrisome to humankind, paranoia surrounding such epidemics is easy to instill and aggravate. Thus, it may also be right to claim that the virus has deliberately been demonized beyond rational levels to instigate such paranoia and associate such feelings with Chinese citizens, perhaps to restrict their trading outreach. Conclusively, where the above mentioned may yet not be an established fact, the possibility cannot be entirely overlooked. Episodes of racist remarks and jokes against the Chinese people in context to this outbreak have also been occuring. These remarks have been particularly popular on social media which currently serves as one of the most influential platforms for the flow of information as well as an active front of information warfare. In all, China has definitely been hit hard by the outbreak and everything associated with it, especially in economic terms, the exact causation of which remains debatable.