The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, could wield an unprecedented amount of power over the international community if its influence in AI and genomics is not slowed, said UK MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith.
"China now has a head start on applying AI to genomics, which poses a significant threat to our collective national security," Sir Iain said during a Nov. 28 talk at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
"If China dominates AI and genomics, it will wield unprecedented influence over major industries including, of course, global healthcare."
Sir Iain's warning urged the need for heightened vigilance and strategic measures following news that the CCP is harvesting DNA from millions of people around the world through clandestine use of its healthcare products.
A failure to confront the threat, he suggested, could threaten global security in a way unseen since World War II.
"Nothing China does is left to chance," Sir Iain said.
"The threat that we now face is on par to that which we faced during the Cold War and even that which we faced in the 1930s."
China Harvesting DNA From Millions of Women and Fetuses Globally
Sir Iain highlighted ongoing investigations across five countries into the CCP's use of prenatal tests to gather DNA from pregnant women and their fetuses.
The tests, Marketed as "NIFTY," were designed by Chinese genomics giant BGI in consultation with the CCP's military wing. The test claims to screen for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions, but the DNA data collected is stored on servers in mainland China, where the CCP can access it at any time.