Chinese researcher ‘hiding’ in San Francisco consulate is arrested

Chinese researcher ‘hiding’ in San Francisco consulate is arrested

  • Alleged member of military detained as US-China diplomatic tensions escalate

A Chinese researcher who US authorities said was hiding in China’s San Francisco consulate has been arrested and is expected to appear in court on Monday, as tensions escalate between the superpowers.

Juan Tang is allegedly a member of the Chinese military who was working as a researcher at the University of California, according to court documents unsealed on Monday, which said she was a uniformed officer of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force who had made fraudulent statements on her visa application.

The US Department of Justice said she had sought refuge at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. A senior US justice department official said on Friday morning that she was arrested on Thursday evening. The circumstances of the arrest were unclear.

Ms Tang is one of four alleged Chinese military operatives recently arrested by US authorities over visa fraud, saying they had concealed the true nature of their work. If convicted, each would face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

In a separate case on Friday, a Singaporean national in federal court in Washington admitted spying for China. Dickson Yeo confessed to working on behalf of China’s intelligence service to recruit military and government employees with high-level security clearances.