FBI Arrests Chinese Visa Holders After Countrywide Probe Over PLA Ties

US authorities say members of China's People Liberation Army applied for research visas, hiding true identity.

The FBI has arrested Chinese visa holders suspected of hiding their Chinese military memberships even as the US face-off with China over various issues remains escalated. The arrests have come after the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed people in 25 different US cities, who have an "undeclared affiliation" with the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Under President Donald Trump's administration, things have become sore with Beijing as President Trump has repeatedly accused the country of spreading coronavirus. With the FBI interviewing Chinese visa holders who are suspected of hiding military ties, things could become much worse in the weeks to come.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) YouTube Grab

As per justice.gov, four Chinese individuals -- Xin Wang, Juan Tang, Chen Song and Kaikai ZHAO -- were charged with visa fraud. These individuals in question are allegedly the members of the People's Republic of China's military.

Out of these four, Juan Tang is currently harbored at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco and the FBI is looking to arrest him. As per the rules and regulations, the U.S. law enforcement cannot enter a foreign embassy or consulate unless they are invited. At the same time, certain top officials have diplomatic immunity.

The Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John C. Demers, stated that members of China's People Liberation Army reportedly applied for research visas while they hid their true identity. Demers further called it to be yet another part of the Chinese Communist Party's plan to take advantage of America's academic institutes.

Demers further confirmed that they are going to continue their search operations with the FBI. Executive Assistant Director of the FBI's National Security Branch, John Brown, resonated the same thoughts. He stated that the US welcomes all the students and researchers from around the globe but "today's announcement shows the extreme lengths to which the Chinese government has gone to infiltrate and exploit America's benevolence."


John Brown further noted that the FBI has so far interviewed several members of the PLA and uncovered their extreme efforts to hide their true identity. By doing this, these members are taking advantage of the United States and the American people, who trust them and welcome them to their land for academics purposes.

As per the report, each defendant now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.