Last week, acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert dismissed a visa-fraud case against Chinese national Juan Tang, whose trial was set to begin July 26 in Sacramento. According to the Sacramento Bee, Talbert declined comment and assistant U.S. Attorney Heiko Coppola “gave no reason for seeking the dismissal.” The surprise move had nothing to do with any new evidence in the case, and everything to do with anti-Trump politics.
As the Bee reported, the case of Juan Tang, who had been conducting research at UC Davis, “is one of dozens initiated by the Trump Administration through its ‘China Initiative’ in 2018 to prosecute alleged instances of trade secret thet and economic espionage by researchers who were accused of lying about their backgrounds to obtain access to American research institutions on behalf of the Chinese military.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert, once an adjunct law professor at UC Davis, took over after the Biden administration fired 55 U.S. attorneys nominated by President Trump. Under Trump Derangement Syndrome, anything started by Trump must be shut down. True to form, Talbert and Coppola offered no new exculpatory evidence in the case.
According to a federal criminal complaint filed June 26, 2020 in the Eastern District of California, on October 28, 2019, Tang applied for a non-immigrant visa to conduct cancer research at UC Davis. Tang answered “no” to the question “have you served in the military?” and denied affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party. Tang was issued a J-1 visa on Nov. 5, 2019 but whoever granted it failed to do their homework.
The FBI found an April 14, 2019 article on a Xi’an, China, health care forum that showed Tang in a military uniform bearing the insignia of the Civilian Cadres of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The FBI also found two other articles naming Tang’s employer as the People’s Liberation Army’s Air Force Medical University (AFMU), also known as the Fourth Military Medical University (FMMU).
According to a July 23, 2020 report in the Davis Enterprise, Tang told the FBI she was required to wear the uniform and was unaware of the insignia’s meaning. That claim was hardly credible and the FBI search found Tang wearing a different PLA uniform. FBI agents also found that Tang had identified herself as a member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) when she applied for benefits.
UC Davis officials told the Davis Enterprise Tang came through an exchange program with Xijing Hospital, which includes “eight specialized medical centers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.” U.S. Attorneys Talbert and Coppola did not show any of this evidence to be false, and produced nothing to show that Juan Tang had answered truthfully. U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez had already dismissed the charge of lying to the FBI because the FBI agents failed to advise Tang she did not have to answer their questions. The visa-fraud count remained but the charge should have been espionage.
According to July 20, 2020, court documents that cite Tang, Xin Wang and other Chinese nationals, the cases are “part of a program conducted by the People’s Liberation Army – and specifically, FMMU or associated institutions – to send military scientists to the United States on false pretenses with false covers or false statements about their true employment.” Evidence exists of “copying or stealing information from American institutions at the direction of military superiors in China” and “the PRC government instructing these individuals to destroy evidence and in coordinating efforts.”
That is classic espionage, and the Chinese nationals got away with it. Their PRC-CCP bosses provided evidence that dismissal of the visa-fraud charge was entirely political.
In Beijing last Friday, the Associated Press reports, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused the United States of arresting its citizens studying in the country “under fabricated charges, violating legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals.” Zhao Lijian urged the United States to “immediately release the person involved and earnestly guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals in the U.S.”
There was no reciprocity by way of China dropping any charges against an American or allied nationals such as the two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, held by the PRC since 2018. On the other hand, there is evidence that dismissal of charges against Juan Tang was a move to curry favor with the Communist nation.
As Reuters reports, the dismissal “comes as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is set to visit China” for a meeting with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other officials. That visit “could help set the stage for further exchanges and a potential meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this year.”
During the 2020 campaign, Biden said the Chinese were “not bad folks,” and “not competition for us.” With that favorable posture toward the Communist dictatorship, dismissal of the case against Juan Tang comes as no surprise. After all, San Francisco Democrat Dianne Feinstein maintained a Chinese spy on her staff for 20 years, and the case never wound up in court. A Chinese spy also worked her way onto Eric Swalwell’s staff, and the California Democrat eagerly parrots Chinese propaganda.
If China’s Communist regime ever did anything with which Joe Biden disagreed it’s hard to know what it is, and son Hunter had the inside track. With “big guy” Joe Biden in the White House, the Chinese Communist Party can loot American technology and intellectual property with complete impunity. Under the addled Joe Biden the “bad folks” are those who voted for Donald Trump, uphold the U.S. Constitution, and support the rule of law.