Chinese military officer arrested, suspected of trying to steal US research

A Chinese military officer was arrested in Los Angeles after working as a researcher at UCSF.

Customs and Border Protection says the man admitted to recieving paychecks from both China and the university, and to duplicating U.S. funded research in China.

A Chinese military officer was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after he obtained a research position at the University of California-San Francisco in an alleged intelligence operation for China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army.

UCSF researcher Xin Wang was stopped as he attempted to board a flight from California to Tianjin, China. Wang reportedly told Customs and Border Patrol that he had been tasked with gathering intelligence on the UCSF laboratory so that it could be replicated in China. 

He had also allegedly been receiving a paycheck from both UCSF and the PLA.

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On the application for his visa, obtained December 2018, Wang stated that he was a medical professor for the PLA, coming to America for the purpose of conducting research at the UCSF. But during his conversations with CBP, he admitted that he is in fact currently an active “Level 9” technician for the Chinese army and working for a military university laboratory.

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CBP reported that Wang was traveling with UCSF research on his person and had also previously emailed research from UCLA to China. He allegedly also duplicated federal grant-funded UCSF research at the Chinese lab.

Wang had also reportedly cleared his cell phone of WeChat text messages on the same morning of the day he was arrested.

Wang faces a maximum of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine as he has only so far been charged with one count of visa fraud. 

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