The US has arrested three Chinese nationals for visa fraud, and is seeking to arrest a fourth thought to be in China’s San Francisco consulate.
All the individuals allegedly lied about being members of China’s armed forces, the Department of Justice said.
FBI agents have also interviewed people in 25 US cities who have an “undeclared affiliation” with China’s military.
Prosecutors say it is part of a Chinese programme to send undercover army scientists to the US.
Members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) applied for research visas while hiding their “true affiliation” with the military, justice department attorney John C Demers said in a press release.
“This is another part of the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to take advantage of our open society and exploit academic institutions.”