Juan Tang, 37, a Chinese scientist who worked at the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, Davis, has been arrested on charges of visa fraud and suspicion of espionage. The researcher was arrested when evidence emerged that she was a member of the People’s Liberation Army of China even though she failed to disclose her military affiliation in her visa application so that she could work in the United States.
Tang was arrested by the US Marshals Service and committed to a Northern California jail with plans to arraign her before a federal court on Monday. The Department of Defense will be charging Tang for visa fraud and espionage gave the various claims that China is working underground to steal valuable US medical and security data as well as intellectual property in the UK and Canada.
Tang is the fourth Chinese national to be arrested in the US on suspicion of intellectual theft even as the FBI continues to interview close to 50 Chinese visa holders in almost 30 cities across the nation on allegations of not disclosing their ties with the Chinese military. The worsened relationship between the US and China has led to the closure of embassies in both countries – the US government ordered the Chinese Consulate office in Houston to shut down and Beijing also ordered the closure of the US embassy in Chengdu.
The FBI accused Tang of hiding in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco after interviewing her in her UC Davis home last month. The university authorities in a statement disclosed that Tang was a visiting researcher and left her job in June. The university said her work was sponsored by the Ministry of Education in China based on a study exchange program.
Federal agents began investigating Tang after they found photos of her in Chinese military uniform and also analyzed several articles in China related to her affiliation with the People’s Liberation Army. With her arraignment on Monday, it is not clear if there is an attorney to represent her in federal court. The Chinese consulate has failed to respond to queries over the matter.