The US has issued a health alert to its employees in China after an official experienced a possible sonic attack and was later diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury. The Trump administration said they are taking these reports seriously and have taken up the matter with Chinese officials. “A US State Department government employee in China recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal sensations of sound and pressure,” the US Embassy in China said. “We do not currently know what caused the reported symptoms and we are not aware of any similar situations in China, either inside or outside of the diplomatic community,” it said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today said he was concerned about the incident and has brought it to the notice of his Chinese counterpart State Councilor Wang Yi. “It’s a serious medical incident.
We want to make sure and take care of every one of our officers serving overseas. We’ve learnt about it only recently. We are still trying to identify all the circumstances surrounding it,” he said. The US, Pompeo said, has notified China of what took place as best it knows it. “They have responded in a way that is exactly the right response. They’ve honoured their commitment under the Vienna Convention to take care of the diplomats that are serving in their country, and we truly appreciate this,” he said. China, Pompeo said, has offered to assist the US in investigating how this came to be. “The State Councilor Wang and I had a moment to talk about how we can endeavour to figure out what happened here to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again in their country,” he said. “We are working together to resolve it. I hope we can figure it out. It’s very important that each and every one of our officers, wherever they’re serving in the world, is protected and taken care of,” Pompeo said.
Wang said China has been investigating this matter in a “very responsible” manner. “We haven’t found that any organisation or individual has carried out such a sonic influence. We will stay in communication with the US through diplomatic channels, and we would suggest that US side can also carry out some internal investigation,” he said. Wang said they do not want to see that “this individual case will be magnified, complicated, or even politicised”. “We hope people will not associate it with other unnecessary matters. China will, in accordance with the law, protect all the lawful rights and interests of foreigners in China, especially those of diplomats. That’s our firm commitment,” he said.