Almost exactly two years ago RedState broke the story of the defection of CCP counterintelligence official Dong Jingwei to the United States. The “terabytes” of data Dong, the highest-ranking Chinese defector ever, brought with him to the United States included information and data showing “that SARS-CoV-2 was manmade and leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in addition to evidence confirming that the People’s Liberation Army managed the Wuhan bioweapons program (and others).” While it was essentially ignored by the mainstream media and dismissed by the professional former spook crowd, it was a huge story – so huge that RedState was hit with a DDOS attack just hours after it was published.
Over the next few weeks, RedState published a series of articles outlining some of the specific information and evidence Dong brought to the U.S. and the corroboration that had occurred to that point. There were denials of the defection by Beijing and a few articles mentioning it, mostly in international outlets, but the small amount of related coverage in U.S. media generally didn’t directly mention Dong. (See the June 26, 2021 story, “Reactions to RedState’s Exclusive Reporting on Chinese Defector Dong Jingwei Show Disturbing Pattern.“)
However, China expert Gordon Chang told Tucker Carlson that he believed that Dong Jingwei did defect, and I appeared on Newsmax to tell the story.
"The Chinese military runs that lab entirely": @jenvanlaar shares details about the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its possible COVID leak. @RedState https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/HaYRah0R1b
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) June 16, 2021
There hasn’t been any reporting about Dong since, leading to speculation about his whereabouts or if he’d been “disappeared.”
RedState can now confirm that Dong has been in a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) protection program since his defection. A Defense Intelligence Agency source close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, provided this update:
As of June 2023, Dong Jingwei is participating in one of DIA’s protection programs. He has voluntarily participated in debriefing meetings since his arrival, and continues to do so.
The source further explained that debriefing meetings will likely last for years for many reasons, including the position Dong held in the Chinese Communist Party, the type and quantity of information he provided, the lengthy process of corroborating highly technical information without jeopardizing operational security, and the potential use of some of the information in ongoing U.S. counterintelligence activities. In addition, since Dong is voluntarily participating in debriefing meetings and is not compelled to do so on a particular schedule, debriefing can move forward at an uneven pace. But, those debriefing meetings have borne fruit, as will be shown below.
First, it should be noted that many within the U.S. intelligence community, specifically the FBI and CIA, wanted the story to go away. I wrote on June 11, 2021:
As reported in my original story about the defector, sources told RedState that the FBI, the State Department, and CIA were intentionally kept in the dark about the fact that the defector was working with the DIA. Many in the intelligence community were highly skeptical of that claim for logistical reasons (i.e., China obviously knew the guy was gone as soon as he was gone, and any assets/spies within our government also knew, so how could they keep his location a secret for so long?), but the fact that the FBI had a lot of this information from [Chinese virologist] Yan [Li-Meng] for more than a year and nothing to investigate or validate it makes it easy to understand why this defector wanted nothing to do with the CIA or, especially, the FBI.
In June 2021 the most explosive information Dong brought with him related to SARS-CoV-2 being manmade, having leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and that its creation was part of a bioweapons program managed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). While those assertions were extremely controversial at the time, numerous agencies within the U.S. government now believe that it’s much more likely than not that COVID-19 was created in a lab, and that the pandemic originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and at least two State Department cables reference Chinese military work at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
But Dong provided data and documentation on many other topics, as reported by RedState at the time. Reading through this list now, it’s obvious that much of this information has been corroborated and is in the mainstream, and other portions are just now surfacing (i.e., the next-to-last bullet point was referenced in this story about the Biden/Burisma bribe):
- Early pathogenic studies of the virus we now know as SARS-CoV-2
- Models of predicted COVID-19 spread and damage to the US and the world
- Financial records detailing which exact organizations and governments funded the research on SARS-CoV-2 and other biological warfare research
- Names of US citizens who provide intel to China
- Names of Chinese spies working in the US or attending US universities
- Financial records showing US businessmen and public officials who’ve received money from the Chinese government
- Details of meetings US government officials had (perhaps unwittingly) with Chinese spies and members of Russia’s SVR
- How the Chinese government gained access to a CIA communications system, leading to the death of dozens of Chinese people who were working with the CIA
Dong’s defection was especially significant because of his rank within the Chinese Communist Party and because of the type (direct knowledge of Chinese military bioweapons programs) and quantity (terabytes of data) of information he reportedly brought with him when he defected to Defense Intelligence Agency officials in the spring of 2021. At that time, RedState reported that Dong had provided an extensive, technically detailed debrief to US officials which they’d determined was legitimate, and that U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) personnel detailed to DIA had corroborated very technical details of the information provided that was related to COVID-19. In addition, we reported:
[Dong] provided data proving that SARS-CoV-2 was manmade and leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in addition to evidence confirming that the People’s Liberation Army managed the Wuhan bioweapons program (and others), as Chinese virologist Yan Li-Meng told the FBI last year.
Technical details provided by the defector, RedState is told, were given to scientists (who were not told how the US government obtained that information), who then re-analyzed data from published sources in conjunction with the new data and concluded that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was engineered. And, the defector was able to confirm numerous non-public details Yan provided the US government.
Those scientists, according to DIA sources, were Dr. Steven Quay and physics professor Richard Muller, who published their findings in the Wall Street Journal two days after RedState’s original story about Dong’s defection. Their research found the damning CGG-CGG sequence that was omitted in Dr. Shi Zhengli’s February 2020 paper, and which had “never been found naturally” in the class of coronaviruses that includes CoV-2. The duo concluded:
“The presence of the double CGG sequence is strong evidence of gene splicing, and the absence of diversity in the public outbreak suggests gain-of-function acceleration. The scientific evidence points to the conclusion that the virus was developed in a laboratory.”
Curiously, around the time the news that Dong had defected hit, Beijing recalled Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai, replacing him with a Xi Jinping confidant. Intelligence community sources told RedState that Qin Gang, the new Ambassador, was sent to the United States specifically to attempt to shut down any investigation into information Dong brought forward. Since Dong was not interfacing with the normal players, that plan seems to have been foiled.
(NOTE: This piece was edited post-publication to add details of news coverage about Dong Jingwei in June 2021.)