A Chinese biology researcher has taken refuge in China’s San Francisco consulate to evade arrest by the FBI after lying about her connections to the Chinese military to obtain a visa and gain access to the United States.
The revelation came in court documents filed Monday that detailed several instances in which Chinese nationals supposedly lied to hide their military connections in order to obtain U.S. visas.
The researcher, Tang Juan, who was working at the University of California, Davis, stated on her J-1 visa application that she "had never served in the military, but open source investigation revealed photographs of her in the uniform of the Civilian Cadre of the PLA (People's Liberation Army), and that she had been employed as a researcher at the Air Force Military Medical University, which is another name for FMMU (Fourth Military Medical University)," according to the court filing.
The FBI interviewed her on June 20, and she "denied serving in the Chinese military, claimed she did not know the meaning of the insignia on her uniform, and that wearing a military uniform was required for attendance at FMMU because it was a military school."
A subsequent search of her apartment found further evidence of her PLA affiliation, the document said.
“The FBI assesses that, at some point following the search and interview of Tang on June 20, 2020, Tang went to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, where the FBI assesses she has remained.”
The filing came two days before the U.S. ordered China’s consulate in Houston be closed "to protect American intellectual property and American's private information."
China condemned the move, which comes at a time of rising tensions between the world's two largest economies. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called it "an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage relations between the two countries."
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