On Friday U.S. authorities arrested Juan Tang, who had sought refuge in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco after being charged with visa fraud last month. Tang had been a visiting cancer researcher at UC Davis, the Davis Enterprise reports, funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council, affiliated with the China’s Ministry of Education and Xijing Hospital in China.
According to the report, the FBI found a 2016 photo of Tang wearing a People’s Liberation Army uniform and an application for government benefits in which Tang revealed she was member of the Chinese Communist Party. After questioning at her Davis apartment, Tang fled to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. Justice Department officials did not reveal how Tang was apprehended or whether the consulate had turned over the fugitive.
Chen Song, a visiting researcher at Stanford is also charged with visa fraud for lying about affiliations with the Chinese military. These are hardly the first cases of Chinese espionage in California. For some 20 years, in fact, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, San Francisco Democrat, employed a Chinese spy on her staff.
The spy worked as a driver but also served in Feinstein’s San Francisco office, as a liaison to the Asian American community, and even attended Chinese consulate functions for the senator.
When the news broke in 2018, Feinstein professed to be “mortified,” but at a loss as to what information the spy might have passed on to China. Observers might wonder what Feinstein knew and when did she knew it. The Senate Intelligence Committee could have shed light on the Chinese spy, and Chinese espionage in general, but no such hearing took place.
Long before she became a U.S. Senator in 1992, Feinstein had been on good terms with Communist China. She first visited the People’s Republic in 1975, when Chairman Mao still held the reins. Feinstein compared the Tiananmen Square massacre with Kent State, and in 1999 spearheaded efforts to bring China into the World Trade Organization, which removed annual review of the regime’s record on human rights and weapons proliferation.
The San Francisco Democrat has never charted any progress the Communist regime might have made on human rights, and on the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen in 2018, no official statement appeared from the senator. As Rosemarie Ho noted in The Nation, Democrats in general and Feinstein in particular have been rather quiet about the democratic protesters in Hong Kong. For their part, California Democrats have gone out of their way to do business with the Communist power.
The state did not need a new eastern span of the Bay Bridge but California Democrats opted to build one anyway, with steel from Communist China. Democrats even declined to apply for federal funding to avoid the requirement to use steel from American manufacturers. The Chinese company ZPMC lacked bridge construction experience and failed on key quality control measures. The cheaper Chinese was prone to embrittlement, and many of the Chinese welds were defective. The span came in 10 years late, $5 billion over budget, and riddled with safety issues, to which Gov. Jerry Brown famously replied, “I mean, look, shit happens.”
Brown was succeeded by former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, whose father Brown had appointed as a judge. On March 4 this year, Newsom declared a state of emergency and the next month struck a $1 billion deal for 200 million masks with Build Your Dreams (BYD) a Chinese company with no experience in protective equipment but troubling ties to the Chinese military. Newsom handed $500 million to BYD up front, and kept details of the deal from fellow Democrats and the public.
Like Sen. Feinstein and his one-time aunt Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom has little to say about democratic demonstrators in Hong Kong. The carefully coiffed governor has exploited the China virus to rule as an autocrat, issuing executive orders by the dozens. When the state economy predictably tanked, Newsom banned protests at the state capitol and ringed the capitol grounds with black-clad CHP forces in full riot gear.
Like Gov. Newsom, state Democrats deploy the coronavirus as a misery index and means to control the people. The numbers hardly justify it, but former Jerry Brown advisor Sen. Steve Glazer, not a doctor or immunologist, wants to lock down the whole state again.
When Newsom declared the emergency he hailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said “we are so blessed to have her leadership in California.” State Democrats are doubtless hoping Pelosi will bail out the state after a Biden victory in November. Meanwhile, Juan Tang is not the first researcher to conceal affiliations with China’s Communist government.
As the Los Angeles Times reported last week, a researcher at UC San Francisco was secretly a Chinese military official with “a designated point of contact” at the Chinese consulate. According to John Brown, head of the FBI’s National Security Branch, visa holders with hidden affiliations to the Chinese military have been identified in more than 25 American cities.