fredag 24. juli 2020

Chinese fugitive taken into custody as US claims Houston consulate was a part of espionage network

Senior US government officials said Friday that a Chinese scientist who had been hiding in the country's San Francisco consulate after accusations of visa fraud is now in US custody and also charged that Beijing has been using its diplomatic outposts to run an espionage network to steal intellectual property from US businesses, universities and research centers.

Tang Juan, a researcher who said she was focusing on biology, "was a fugitive from justice until last night," a senior Justice Department official said, but has now been charged in Sacramento. The circumstances of Tang's arrest were not clear, but she has not been charged with espionage.

US officials made the announcement just hours before Washington's deadline for Beijing to shutter its consulate in Houston, a move that triggered China to retaliateFriday by demanding the US close its consulate in Chengdu. Prosecutors earlier this week said that Tang concealed her connection to China's military in order to enter the US, lied to federal investigators about those links and subsequently tried to avoid arrest by taking refuge in the San Francisco consulate.