Chinese researcher 'harbored' at San Francisco consulate, three others, charged with visa fraud

Several researchers allegedly lied about their Chinese military connections on U.S. visa applications

Updated: July 23, 2020 - 6:46pm

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The Justice Department has charged four people with visa fraud after allegedly lying about their connections with China's People's Liberation Army  – including a researcher hiding in the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.

According to now unsealed court documents, the researcher is Juan Tang, a researcher at the University of California Davis. She is described by federal authorities as "a fugitive from justice." 

Federal authorities also say Tang indicated that she had never served in the military when applying for a visa. However, the FBI discovered photos of Tang wearing Chinese military uniforms and references to her employment at the Air Force Military Medical University.

Another woman, Chen Song, allegedly presented inaccurate information when applying for a visa by indicating she only served China's military during a period in 2011, and she allegedly also listed a false employer, according to an affidavit. 

"The affidavit alleges that these were lies, that Song was a member of the PLA when she entered and while she was in the United States, and that the hospital she listed on her visa as her employer was a cover for her true employer, the PLA," the DOJ explained.

Another individual, Kaikai Zhao, claimed to have never served in the Chinese military when applying for a visa. But according to a complaint, the FBI found a photo of Zhao wearing a military uniform and having had military connections.

"As set forth in the complaint, Zhao served in the National University of Defense Technology, the PLA’s premier institution for scientific research and education, which is directly subordinate to the PRC’s Central Military Commission. Zhao also attended the Aviation University of Air Force (AUAF), which is a Chinese military academy," the Justice Department said. 

Another person charged, Xin Wang, allegedly failed to divulge accurate information regarding her Chinese military connections.

Wang in a visa application noted military service as an associate professor in Medicine in the PLA but from 2002 to 2016.

"According to court documents, Wang was still employed by the PLA while he was studying in the United States, and he made false statements about his military service in his visa application in order to increase the likelihood that he would receive his J1 visa," the Justice Department also said.