Fugitive in San Francisco called Chinese Consulate, FBI

The Chinese and Americans hoist the national flag at the entrance of a company office building in Beijing.

Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images

The FBI alleges that a researcher focusing on a livelihood who lied about his connection to the Chinese military to obtain the US Army has avoided arrest by seeking asylum at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco .

According to court filings, Tang Juan was issued a non-immigrant visa to do research at the University of California, Davis. But after FBI agents found pictures of him in military uniform on the Internet, he interviewed her on June 20 about her visa application. He said that he had never served in the army and was not a member of the Communist Party.

After that encounter with the FBI, she headed to the San Francisco Consulate, where she is still living, the FBI alleges. The government brought federal charges against Tang for visa fraud on 26 June.

“The FBI assesses some points after Tang’s discovery and interview on June 20, 2020, Tang went to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, where the FBI assesses that she remains,” US lawyers said in court on July 20 Entered.

The films come at a time of escalating tensions between the United States and China, and increased scrutiny over possible economic espionage by Chinese citizens working in the US

On Wednesday, the US State Department ordered China to close the consulate in Houston, Texas. Officials said the move was made to protect American intellectual property and “private information”. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice claimed that two Chinese nationals tried to steal trade secrets by hacking into firms working on a vaccine for Kovid-19.

Trump administration officials, including FBI Director Christopher Ray, have strongly criticized China’s use of cyber attacks to steal intellectual property from American institutions. The US has also tried to prevent Huawei Technologies from fearing that wireless networks using its technology could be used to spy on Americans.

A separate Chinese civil visa was wanted for fraud as part of a separate case detailing Tang’s current asylum at the consulate. In the filing, US attorneys attempted to link Tang’s case with other Chinese researchers, focusing on a university in China called FMMU, affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“The defendant’s case is not an isolated one, but appears to be part of a program organized by
The lawyers wrote, “PLA — and in particular, FMMU or related institutions — to send military scientists to the United States with false cover or inaccurate statements about their rightful employment,” the lawyers said. There is evidence in at least one of these cases. A military scientist copied or stolen information from American institutions under the direction of military superiors in China. “

Axios, which previously reported the tang filings, suggested that using diplomatic immunity, as a way to give asylum to someone accused of crimes, is an unusual move for Chinese criminals. The Vienna Convention, which is an agreement that dictates how diplomats should conduct themselves in a foreign country, says that employees with criminal immunity have the duty of an embassy or consulate to “receive the laws and regulations of the receiving state pay respect.”

The US government said in a July 20 filing, “As demonstrated in the Tang case, the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco provides a potentially safe harbor for a PLA official intent on escaping prosecution in the United States.”

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington DC did not immediately return a request for comment.