Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

More U.S. Diplomats Evacuated After Possible ‘Sonic Attack’ in China

Sonic attack warning issued as US citizens fall ill in China | Daily Star Mysterious ‘sonic attacks’ prompt evacuation of 2 more US staff from China – report
Faye Gross | 08 June, 2018, 06:56

A U.S. medical team is screening more Americans who work at a consulate in southern China, with the State Department confirming it has evacuated a number of government employees who experienced unexplained health issues like those that affected hurt USA personnel in Cuba and China.

In addition to the Beijing embassy and Guangzhou consulate, the United States operates consulates in the mainland Chinese cities of Chengdu, Shanghai, Shenyang and Wuhan.

The New York Times reported that the State Department had evacuated at least two Americans who fell ill after hearing unusual noises in China. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that "a number of individuals" had been brought to the US but didn't say how many were affected or evacuated.

A US government official there reiterated that there had been only one confirmed case in China, announced last month, and the State Department was offering screening to anyone in the USA embassy or consulates in China who requested it. They said their experiments managed to replicate the metallic chirping sounds that US diplomats heard in conjunction with the attacks in Cuba, raising the likelihood that the injuries were the result of ultrasonic signals.

State Department officials said that a medical team flown into China is testing other employees and their family members for related symptoms. "China will ensure the safety of foreign diplomatic staff in China, including those from the USA, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations".

The illnesses in China have broadened a medical mystery that started in 2016, when U.S. Embassy employees and their family members began falling ill in Havana.

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Chinese officials earlier said that they had looked into last month's case but came up with no clues about the cause of the symptoms.

Hua said the Foreign Ministry had not yet been formally informed by the US government about the new cases, having only heard about them through media reports.

"If there's really a problem then the US side can directly contact the Chinese side and communicate, and China will continue to conscientiously investigate and coordinate with a responsible attitude", Hua said. The Canadian government followed suit in April and directed the families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home.

The evacuated Americans have been transferred to the same facility at the University of Pennsylvania where the government workers in Cuba were sent, an unnamed US official told The Associated Press.

The State Department acknowledged the Lenzi incident late last month.

A USA medical team has been screening more personnel and their family members who work in Guangzhou this week in order to determine who may have been affected.

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