Chinese researcher charged with US visa fraud is in custody

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This undated picture supplied by the U.S. Justice Department reveals Juan Tang in her China People’s Liberation Army navy uniform. The Justice Department on Thursday, July 23, 2020, says the Chinese consulate in San Francisco is harboring a Chinese researcher who lied about her navy background. The Justice Department says the scientist, who’s listed in some court docket filings as Juan Tang, lied about her navy affiliation in a visa software final October as she made plans to work on the University of California, Davis and once more throughout an FBI interview months later.(Justice Department through AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Chinese researcher accused of concealing her ties to the Chinese navy on a visa software she submitted so she might work within the U.S. was booked Friday right into a Northern California jail and was anticipated to seem in federal court docket Monday.

Sacramento County jail data present Juan Tang, 37, was being held on behalf of federal authorities after she was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service. It was unclear if she had an legal professional who might touch upon her behalf.

The Justice Department on Thursday introduced prices towards Tang and three different scientists living within the U.S., saying they lied about their standing as members of China’s People’s Liberation Army. All have been charged with visa fraud.

Tang was the final of the 4 to be arrested, after the justice division accused the Chinese consulate in San Francisco of harboring a recognized fugitive. The consulate didn’t instantly reply to electronic mail and Facebook messages searching for remark and it was not potential to go away a phone message.

The Justice Department stated Tang lied about her navy ties in a visa software final October as she made plans to work on the University of California, Davis and once more throughout an FBI interview months later. Agents discovered images of Tang wearing navy uniform and reviewed articles in China figuring out her navy affiliation.

UC Davis stated Tang left her job as a visiting researcher within the Department of Radiation Oncology in June. Her work was funded by a study-based trade program affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education, the college stated in an announcement.

Agents have stated they imagine Tang sought refuge on the consulate after they interviewed her at her home in Davis on June 20. The FBI has been interviewing visa holders in additional than 25 American cities suspected of hiding their ties to the Chinese navy.

The allegations got here as U.S.-China relations continued to deteriorate, notably over allegations of Chinese theft of U.S. mental property.

China’s consulate in Houston was scheduled to close down Friday on order of U.S. authorities after Washington accused Chinese brokers of attempting to steal medical and different analysis in Texas.

“We can confirm that the PRC Consulate General in Houston is closed,” a State Department spokesperson confirmed late Friday. The spokesperson spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to remark publicly.

In response, China on Friday ordered the U.S. to shut its consulate within the metropolis of Chengdu.

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AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.