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A researcher who took refuge in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco after allegedly lying to investigators about her Chinese military service was arrested and will appear in court on Monday, according to a senior Justice Department official.
According to court documents unsealed earlier this week in the Eastern District of California, Juan Tang, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, applied for a nonimmigrant J1 visa in October 2019. The visa was issued in November 2019 and Tang entered the United States a month later.
Tang allegedly made fraudulent statements on her visa application by concealing that she served in the Chinese military. The FBI concluded that Tang was a uniformed officer of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force after photographs of her were uncovered on electronic media seized pursuant to a search warrant.
Tang’s arrest for visa fraud follows the arrests of three other Chinese researchers in California and Indiana. The arrests were described as “a microcosm of a broader network of individuals in more than 25 cities,” the Justice Department official explained.
“By their very nature consulates are a base of operations for foreign governments to the United States, including their intelligence services and it’s understood that there will be some activity here by those services,” the person said.