FBI suspects Chinese scientist with ties to the military is hiding in the consulate in San Francisco

Tang Juan is believed to have fled to the consulate following questioning by the FBI on June 20

Updated: July 23, 2020 - 12:06pm

The FBI suspects a Chinese scientist connected to Beijing's military is hiding at the China consulate in San Francisco, attempting to evade arrest after she was accused of visa fraud.

According to court filings in the U.S. District Court of San Fransisco, the researcher, Tang Juan, was questioned by the FBI on June 20, and charged with visa fraud six days later.

Investigators allege that she claimed on her visa application that she had not served in the Chinese military. But pictures of her in uniform were discovered shortly after. Investigators believe she worked as a researcher at China's Air Force Military Medical University. 

Following questioning, Tang took refuge at the San Francisco consulate, where authorities believe she remained. 

The court filings indicate that there are two other recently charged Chinese researchers believed to have provided false information to U.S. authorities in order to remain in the country.

None of the researchers are explicitly accused of espionage related crimes. However, the court documents identify a pattern conducted by the Chinese military, and specifically, the Air Force Military Medical University, of sending military scientists to the U.S. under false pretenses.

In at least one of the cases, there is evidence of a military scientist copying or stealing information from an American institution at the behest of military commanders in China. 

These revelations come shortly after the U.S. government ordered Beijing to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, by Friday due to suspected espionage. The Chinese government has vowed to retaliate. 

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