Wed, Jan 25, 2006 - Page 7 News List

Chinese dissident accused of further acts of betrayal


A woman who owes her freedom from a Chinese prison to US diplomatic pressure betrayed the US by selling sensitive technology to Chinese military affiliates even after her release, government lawyers said.

Gao Zhan (高瞻), of Herndon, Virginia, received a hero's welcome in 2001 when the Chinese government bowed to US pressure and deported her to the US after six months of detention.

Now Gao is a convicted felon who is fighting efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to have her deported to China. An immigration hearing began on Monday to determine whether Gao is a national security risk.

Five years ago China claimed Gao, a researcher at American University, was a spy for Taiwan but allowed her to leave the country rather than serve a 10-year sentence.

When Gao returned to the US in August 2001, she used her celebrity status to speak out against the Chinese government and for human rights. But, in private Gao resumed her business exporting various technologies to China, Homeland Security attorney Maryellen Meymarian said at Gao's hearing on Monday.

Gao had previously admitted that she sold technology with possible military applications to the Chinese government before her arrest in China in February 2001, but Meymarian's claim that the export business continued even after her detention was a new disclosure.

``The first thing she was concerned with [upon returning to the United States] was putting her business back together,'' Meymarian told Immigration Judge Paul Schmidt. ``She was doing business when she got back, doing business with people with connections to Chinese military institutes.''

Gao's attorney, Ladan Mirbagheri Smith, told the judge that none of the items exported by Gao after her August 2001 return constituted a technical violation of the law.

Generally, she said, Gao was trying to get out of the export business altogether.

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