July 24 (UPI) — Federal officials on Friday arrested a Chinese scientist they said had taken refuge in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco and was wanted for an alleged visa violation.
Officials arrested Juan Tang for allegedly hiding her connection to China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, on her visa application, senior administration officials told CNN and CNBC. She’s expected to make a court appearance later Friday.
Tang was among four Chinese researchers charged for their connection to the PLA. Federal officials arrested the other three earlier in the week.
In a court filing this week, the FBI said it interviewed Tang on June 20 and raided her residence. Prosecutors believe Tang went to the San Francisco consulate shortly afterward to evade arrest.
Prosecutors say Tang was working in the United States on a J-1 visa but was charged for a violation.
“Her J-1 visa application stated she had never served in the military, but [an] open source investigation revealed photographs of her in the uniform of the Civilian Cadre of the [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 [Fourth Military Medical University],” prosecutors said in the court documents.
“During an interview with FBI agents on June 20, Tang 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.”
Authorities said their raid of Tang’s home turned up evidence of her connection with the Chinese military, and prosecutors said in the complaint the San Francisco consulate was used to shield Chinese nationals from U.S. prosecution.
Tang’s arrest came amid a tit-for-tat diplomatic tussle between the United States and China. The Trump administration closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, it said, to protect U.S. intellectual property.
China retaliated Friday by ordering the closure of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.