US customs officials say Xin Wang who claimed to be a scientific researcher was trying to steal university research out of the country to share with military colleagues in China. He is also accused of making false claims in his Visa application.
US Department of Justice has informed that a Chinese military officer was arrested
while trying to leave the US on Sunday with government-funded research from University of California. The officer identified as Xin Wang is also accused of Visa fraud.
The investigation by the FBI after his arrest has reveled that Xin Wang holds a position the position of a Major in the People’s Liberation Army and continues to be paid by the PLA. However, in his Visa application Wang had mentioned scientific research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as the purpose of his visit.
During interrogation by the US Custom officials, Wang revealed that he had been instructed by his supervisor, the director of his military university lab in China, to observe the layout of the UCSF lab and bring back information on how to replicate it in China. US customs officials have said that they received information that Wang had studies from UCSF with him which he was taking to share with his PLA colleagues, and he had sent research to his lab in China via email. The research stolen by Wang belonged to the research funded by US Department of Health and Human Services.
The arrest of Xin Wang comes in the wake of US government trying to crack down on academic ties between American research institutions and China’s military over allegations of illegal transfer of technical knowledge to the Chinese military institutions by the Chinese students in US. On May 29, US President Donald Trump announced that graduate students and visiting researchers from China would be barred entry to the US if they were seen as a risk of transferring technical knowledge to the Chinese institutions.
Wang is currently in custody of the FBI and will be presented in court soon. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a US$250,000 fine if found guilty.