The diplomatic relationship between China and the United States has been deteriorating rapidly as of late, thanks in no small part to Beijing’s seemingly concerted effort to cover up the severity of the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan.
Once the illness spread to Europe, medical professionals began to decry the data that they had received from China, claiming that the number were egregiously downplayed, possibly in an attempt to catch the rest of the planet off-guard. This led to a number of US elected officials calling for Beijing to pay reparations to the world.
Earlier this week, the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas was unceremoniously shuttered after accusations of espionage were leveled at those within.
Now, to make matters ever more dire, there are concerns about a fugitive Chinese scientist hiding out in San Francisco, also at a consulate.
Tensions between the United States and China have continued to ratchet up following the forced closure by Washington of Beijing’s consulate in Houston, amid revelations that federal prosecutors are seeking a Chinese scientist accused of visa fraud who they say is hiding out in China’s consulate in San Francisco.
Prosecutors allege Tang Juan, a researcher focusing on biology, lied about her connection to the Chinese military in order to obtain entry into the US and has since avoided arrest by taking refuge in the West Coast diplomatic mission.
According to court filings, Tang was charged on June 26 with one count of visa fraud. Prosecutors said she concealed her connection to the country’s military in her visa application, but investigators “discovered photographs of her in the uniform of the Civilian Cadre of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)” and that she had been employed as a researcher at the Fourth Military Medical University (FMMU).
What sort of trouble is Tang in?
The criminal complaint names several other Chinese scientists in the US. Prosecutors claim they are part of a “program conducted by the PLA — and specifically, FMMU or associated institutions — to send military scientists to the United States on false pretenses with false covers or false statements about their true employment.”“There exists evidence in at least one of these cases of a military scientist copying or stealing information from American institutions at the direction of military superiors in China,” prosecutors said. “There additionally exists evidence of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) government instructing these individuals to destroy evidence and in coordinating efforts regarding the departure of these individuals from the United States, particularly following the charges filed against Xin Wang in this district on June 7, 2020.”
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