China is collecting blood samples from the country’s men to create a national genetic database, a new study says. To this end, the Chinese police have been visiting schools and even citizens’ homes for three years to collect the necessary information.
The first collection campaigns were restricted to the regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. In late 2017, however, China’s Ministry of Public Security expanded campaigns across the country on the grounds of improving the capacity of public security agencies to resolve criminal investigations.
However, the country is collecting DNA from male citizens without considering criminal records – including preschoolers, between 3 and 5 years old.
According to the study, released on Wednesday (17) by the Australian Institute of Strategic Policy, this strategy not only violates Chinese laws, but also human rights – which can be even more serious if this information is associated with other tools surveillance and control.
Through this genetic bank, the Chinese state will be able to track any citizen through the men of the family. “The authorities’ ability to find out who is most closely related to whom, given the context of punishing whole families as a result of activism by just one person, will have a frightening effect on society as a whole,” researcher Maya Wang told The New York Times.
Several companies specializing in biotechnology are assisting the Chinese government in this endeavor, such as the multinational Thermo Fisher Scientific which is based in the United States, in addition to Chinese companies such as AGCU Scientific and Microread Genetics. If the violation of human rights is proven, the project partner companies may also be charged.