A Chinese scientist who had remained a refugee at her country’s consulate in San Francisco, United States, was detained by the FBI last Thursday night, July 23, at the diplomatic headquarters.
According to local media records, the FBI had been investigating the University of California biologist for weeks after discovering that she lied to obtain her visa.
On June 20, Juan Tang had been interrogated and assured the immigration authorities that she had not served in the Chinese militia, however, investigators found a photo in which she was dressed in a military uniform. In addition, they verified her relationship with the China Air Force University of Military Medicine.
Amid the investigations, and after her arrest, US officials said the scientist could belong to an intellectual property espionage network to obtain information about medical treatments developed in the United States, El País reported.
It should be noted that the police cannot enter diplomatic headquarters without prior authorization, so it is presumed that the scientist turned herself in to the authorities.
In addition to Juan Tang, documents in that country’s court revealed that the FBI had already located at least two other academics from China who have used false identities to process visas and stay in American universities.
This week, the Justice Department also accused two Chinese hackers of violating the computer systems of hundreds of Western companies and of trying to steal data from investigations of the development of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The scientist’s arrest occurs at a time when relations between China and the United States seem to be getting more complicated every day. Last Tuesday, July 21, Washington ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, scheduled for this Friday and, in retaliation, Beijing called for the closure of the American consulate in Chengdu, China.