NZ MP admits he taught Chinese spies

Sep 15, 2017, 00:18
NZ MP admits he taught Chinese spies

The Financial Times reports (paywall) that Yang, a man whose background meant that he would not have been able to leave China without the permission of authorities, and who would not have been able to pass a security clearance for non-legislative work in the New Zealand government, has been investigated by the country's Security Intelligence Service (SIS).

But National's Jian Yang says to him they were just students collecting information by monitoring the communications of other countries.

National leader Bill English says he was aware early into Dr Yang's political career, which began when he was elected as a list MP in 2011.

Mr Jones says there is no place in a New Zealand parliament, let alone a government, for a man who was once a member of the Chinese Communist Party.

"This is a smear campaign by nameless people who are out to damage me and the National Party 10 days from an election, just because I am Chinese", he said in a statement.

While there is no word on the outcome of this investigation - Newsroom reports that SIS has "scrutinized him at times over three years, including interviewing one person about him last year" - the case unleashed a stream of polarized reactions.

If you define those cadets or students as spies, yes, then I was teaching spies.

In its report, Newsroom said he went to Australia and attended the Australian National University before moving to New Zealand, where he taught global relations at the University of Auckland. Peters said on his official Twitter account.

Winston Peters, whose New Zealand First party is widely expected to form a ruling coalition with either the National or Labour parties, said that New Zealanders should be "very concerned". No information about his Chinese education or military background was included in his official biographies in New Zealand or those published when he was an academic at Auckland university, it said.

Dr Yang was a student at the People's Liberation Army Air Force Engineering College and the Luoyang language institute, run by the agency responsible for Chinese spying.

"I refute any allegations that question my loyalty to New Zealand ..." The Financial Times said the latter institution specialised in training military intelligence officers and deep cover agents.

"I can understand [how] people can be concerned because they don't understand the Chinese system". It has become a key export market for New Zealand's milk and agricultural products and also contributes to New Zealand's growing tourism industry.

Dr Yang told reporters he had never been a spy, but acknowledged teaching people who went on to be intelligence officers, FT reported.

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