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After FBI Interview, Chinese Biologist Fled to SF Consulate

FBI says she lied about military connections
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2020 3:30 AM CDT
Updated Jul 23, 2020 6:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – A biology researcher accused of lying to the FBI fled to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco last month and is still there, the agency says. According to court papers filed July 20, University of California, Davis researcher Tang Juan went to the consulate after a June 20 interview with FBI agents, who accused her of denying her connections to the Chinese military in order to get a US visa, Fox reports. The FBI says Tang claimed on her application that she had never served in the People's Liberation Army, but their investigation found pictures of her in the uniform of the civilian cadre of the PLA, along with evidence that she had worked as a researcher in a military hospital. They said a search of her home after the interview uncovered more evidence of her military connections.

Tang is an "active duty People's Liberation Army military scientist who lied to get into the United States, attempted to destroy evidence and lied extensively to the FBI when interviewed," federal agents said in charging documents. A prosecutorial memo states that two other Chinese citizens with military links allegedly came to the US under false pretenses, with the cases suggesting "a program conducted by the PLA ... to send military scientists to the US" in that deceptive manner, the Guardian reports. A Department of Justice official tells Axios that they "made the Chinese government aware that she is a charged individual, so it [is] unquestionable that they know the defendant is a fugitive from Justice." (The disclosure follows an order from the US for China to close its Houston consulate by Friday.)

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