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Taiwan's top national security chief was forced to apologise after suggesting the deadly SARS virus could have been developed in Chinese laboratories as a bio-weapon.
Tsai stirred up controversy on Monday after telling lawmakers that Taiwan had intelligence linking the SARS virus to research done in Chinese labs.
"The bureau listed it as a biochemical warfare agent. We have certain evidence and we have asked UN experts to look into this and that there are some areas involving China," Tsai said.
The pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) urged the government to disclose the relevant intelligence information and demand an explanation from Beijing.
National Security Bureau director Tsai Chao-ming "expresses his sincere apology that his gaffe ... has caused misunderstanding and concerns," the bureau said in a statement.