Tensions are brewing between the United States and China following the forced closure by Washington of Beijing’s consulate in Houston. The closure was made 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.
A CNN report states that 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.
During an interview with FBI agents on June 20, “Tang denied serving in the Chinese military, claimed she did not know the meaning of the insignia on her uniform, and that wearing a military uniform was required for attendance at FMMU because it was a military school,” attorneys wrote in a July 20 court filing.
However, during a search of her residence and electronic media, FBI agents allegedly “found further evidence of Tang’s PLA affiliation.”
US President Donald Trump has threatened to close more Chinese consulates in the United States further souring ties between the two countries.
Trump, at a White House news conference on Wednesday, noted that a fire had been spotted on the Houston consulate’s grounds after the Department of State ordered the closure.