There is a new twist in the move by the United States government to shut down China’s consulate in Houston. According to CNN, the US government is looking for a Chinese scientist accused of visa fraud.
According to federal prosecutors quoted by CNN, the scientist Tang Juan is hiding in China’s consulate in San Francisco. Juan is a researcher who focuses on biology, the CNN reported.
She has been accused of lying about the connection with the Chinese military in order to get entry into the US, the CNN further reported. She was charged with visa fraud on June 26.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is assessing that Tang is in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco.
This is a latest blow to China after the US said on Wednesday that it had given China 72 hours to close the consulate “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information”.
The decision marked a dramatic escalation of tensions between the world’s two biggest economies amid fresh accusations of Chinese espionage in the United States and calls by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a new global coalition against Beijing.
China’s embassy to the United States described the move to close the Houston consulate as a “political provocation” and called on Washington to “immediately revoke” the decision. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying wrote on Twitter that China would “surely react with firm countermeasures”.
The Global Times, an English-language tabloid run by the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper, also accused US President Donald Trump of playing politics.
”The November presidential election is driving Washington mad,” it said.
(With agencies inputs)