BFF-43 Chinese researcher who hid in consulate to appear in US court

616

ZCZC

BFF-43

US-CHINA-POLITICS

Chinese researcher who hid in consulate to appear in US court

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – A Chinese researcher who took
refuge in the country’s San Francisco consulate to avoid visa fraud
charges has been arrested and will appear in court Friday, a US
Justice department official said.

Tang Juan, who allegedly hid her ties to the People’s Liberation
Army when applying to undertake cancer treatment research at
University of California-Davis, is in US custody, the official, who
insisted on anonymity, told reporters.

The official would not say how Tang emerged from the consulate, but
noted she did not have diplomatic status that would protect her from
criminal charges.

According to the charges against Tang unsealed last week in federal
court in Sacramento, she arrived in the United States on December 27
on a research exchange program.

On her visa application, she answered “no” to questions about
whether she had served in the military or was a member of, or
affiliated with, a communist party.

The FBI said it later found pictures of her in uniform with insignia
for the PLA “civilian cadres,” and identifying information describing
her as an associate researcher at a Chinese air force hospital.

In a search of her apartment in Davis, California, the FBI said they
found documents indicating she was a member of the Chinese Communist
Party.

Tang was one of four Chinese researchers arrested and charged in
recent weeks for visa fraud, all because they allegedly hid their ties
to the PLA.

The Justice Department said Thursday the four are part of a Chinese
effort to “infiltrate” US institutions to gain scientific and
technological knowledge.

BSS/AFP/MRU/2253hrs