Posted: 11:56 am PT
A State Department employee posted at the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou is reported to have some “abnormal” “sensations of sound and pressure” which is similar to those reported by personnel at U.S. Mission Cuba. We did hear about this prior to MSM reporting the incident and asked the agency’s US Asia Pacific Media Hub to connect us with Guangzhou but — you guessed it — their black hole inbox also worked really, really well, and we never heard anything back. We are pleased to see the news is out, and folks are not waiting months to react.
USCG Guangzhou is headed by Principal Officer Charles Bennett. We understand that USCG Guangzhou did a townhall for post employees/families 2-3 hours after it sent out the health alert. Another townhall was also supposed to be held on May 25 but we have not heard if that actually happened.
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Via USCG Guangzhou: “Throughout the past two centuries, dating back to the presidency of George Washington, Consulate Guangzhou (Canton), as America’s oldest diplomatic post in China and one of America’s oldest posts in the Far East, has played a pivotal role in promoting America’s relationship with China. Today, the Consulate promotes trade and commercial ties, engages China across-the board on key American policy objectives, and promotes public diplomacy through visitor exchanges. The Consulate General is the only U.S. mission in China to process American adoptions and immigrant visas, making it one of the U.S. Department of State’s busiest consular-related posts.”
Note that as of May 2017, the U.S. China Mission (Embassy Beijing, and Consulates General Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang and Wuhan) had representatives from 33 U.S. Government agencies and an authorized staff of 729 U.S. direct-hire American employees, 168 local-hire Americans and 1,807 non-American locally employed (LE) staff members.
In FY2016 Consulate General Guangzhou processed more than 54,000 immigrant visas, making it the third busiest immigrant visa unit in the world. It also had approximately 210 First and Second Tour (FAST) employees, among the largest number of any U.S. overseas mission.
According to State/OIG, Mission China’s Consular Sections provide services to a community of U.S. citizens, both residents and visitors, which the embassy estimated to be as many as 800,000 on any given day. “Factors affecting American citizen services included a growing demand for notarial services and chronic difficulties in obtaining Chinese government permission to visit the approximately 100 U.S. citizens imprisoned in China.”
An American government employee posted in Guangzhou, China has signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, events that seemed parallel to ailments that affected American diplomats in Cuba https://t.co/vYW9BIvlH2
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) May 23, 2018
#Guangzhou #China Health Alert: A US gov't employee in China recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure. The US gov't is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event. https://t.co/Gv5WGLJ1N3 pic.twitter.com/0ywDAhg9wd
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) May 23, 2018
China's Foreign Ministry on Thu responded to reports that a US consular employee in Guangzhou suffered abnormal sensations of sound and pressure, saying China always protects foreign diplomats and has found no evidence to support the claim. pic.twitter.com/6ljKR4EtpG
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) May 25, 2018