China has faced a strong contestation in Hong Kong. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have, several weeks ago, invaded the streets spreading chaos. In order to remove the radical groups, the forces of authority have resorted to rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons. However, this type of repression weapons may pass to the background. China has developed the world’s first portable sonic weapon for riot control.
This kind of weapon, which is supposedly in the non-lethal class, should have a really persuasive effect.
A weapon-shaped instrument was developed, which has the function of dispersing crowds. This new “weapon” was conceived and concreted in conjunction with the military and police forces of China. As stated on the website of the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Academy, the authorities will be able to use equipment that uses focused waves of low-frequency sound.
The “biological effect” of the device will cause extreme discomfort, with vibrations in the eardrums, eyes, stomach, liver, and brain, scientists said.
Studies dating from 1940 found that low-frequency sound energy could depend on intensity and exposure, cause dizziness, headaches, vomiting, intestinal spasms, involuntary defecation, organ damage, and heart attacks.
The weapon has not yet been used in Hong Kong
Sonic weapons are typically large and must be mounted on vehicles. Until the Chinese development, which has no moving parts, this equipment was powered by electricity to drive a magnetic coil to generate energy. That meant they needed a large, stable power source.
The Chinese government launched the Sonic weapons program in 2017. However, its conclusion is unlikely to be related to the months of anti-governmental protests in Hong Kong.
According to Professor Xie Xiujuan, in charge of the project, the device is powered by a tube-shaped container containing an inert gas. When heated, the gas particles vibrate and a deep, monotonous sound is emitted.
The prototype passed the field and third-party tests and the project team completed their assessment of the effects of the device on the body, the academy said.
On September 4, a panel of scientists and engineers representing the Ministry of Science and Technology met in Beijing and approved a project developed by Xie’s team for mass production.
The academy also stated that the fruit of the project should be transformed into practical equipment as soon as possible.
This weapon with a more practical appearance, such as a shotgun, can be used in any scenario
In a photograph on the institute’s website, the device can be seen on top of a meeting table. Besides the ability to be portable, this new weapon looks like a shotgun, with a charger, a trigger, and a barrel.
Although there is much interest in the subject, the scientists involved refused to disclose details. Thus, nothing is known about the frequency of the device or its effective range. In addition, Xie Xiujuan also refused to comment on its uses without the approval of higher authorities.
In addition to this image and statement, so far, there have been no reports of Chinese soldiers or law enforcement personnel using such equipment.