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US warns staff in China: Beware of unusual sounds

May 23, 2018 4:12 pm

The US state department has urged its staff in China to alert them to any abnormal hearing or vision issues after one employee reported mystery symptoms.

The person experienced “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure”, a statement said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the incident was “medically similar” to suspected sonic attacks on diplomatic staff in Cuba.

China said it was investigating “in a very responsible manner”.

China-US relations have been strained recently, amid fears of a trade war.

The state department said it was taking the incident “very seriously”, but the US has not accused China of being behind it.

What is a covert sonic weapon?
In a separate move, the US has rescinded its invitation to China to participate in the forthcoming Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, which brings together the military forces of more than 20 countries.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Logan said China had been “disinvited” because its “continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serves to raise tensions and destabilize the region”.

He said there was strong evidence China had deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, and electronic jammers around the contested Spratly Islands.

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