News Worms
News Worms


China-born New Zealand MP denies being Beijing spy

China-born New Zealand MP denies being Beijing spy

A report by Newsroom.co.nz and the Financial Times claims Dr Yang has been investigated by the New Zealand intelligence service over his links to Chinese intelligence, but that's a claim the MP rejects.

But he said Yang had never tried to hide that he had had military and intelligence training in China, saying that it did not bring his loyalty to New Zealand into question.

"Although I was not born here, I am proud to call myself a New Zealander, obey our laws, and contribute to this country".

The reported interest in Yang by New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) stems from time he spent at two academic institutions in his native China between 1978 and 1994.

To have taught at the Air Force Engineering College, Yang would have nearly certainly been an officer in Chinese military intelligence and a member of the Communist Party, Newsroom reported.

"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.

"I challenge those who are propagating these defamatory statements to front up and prove them".

But PM Bill English did not confirm whether Mr Yang had been investigated.

A Chinese-born New Zealand MP has admitted to teaching Chinese spies, while working as a lecturer in Louyang. The Newsroom notes that it's "considered unusual for someone with intelligence connections to be allowed to leave China for Australia to study, or to have done so without the backing of the party or PLA".

However, at a press conference on Wednesday, Yang was forced to admit that while serving as a "civilian officer" paid by the Chinese military he had perhaps taught English to Chinese spies.

'I was trained to learn language and then after that i started as a lecturer to teach them English language. "If you define it that way, then they are spies". "I just think they are collecting information through communication in China".

"If you define those cadets or students as spies, yes, then I was teaching spies", he told reporters. You get to know people as MPs and I think from early on I've been aware that he had military training including military intelligence, ' Bill English said.

The FT said no other Western nation was known to have a sitting MP with such extensive links to China's intelligence community.

Following the reports, the National Party released a resume submitted by Yang in 2012 that listed the Chinese government institutions he had supposedly tried to keep secret.

He warned that while Beijing appeared to see New Zealand as a softer target than countries such as the USA and Britain, "it may also be using it as a testing ground for future operations in other countries".

China is one of our largest trading partners, but not for this reason alone should we do more to understand it rather than whipping up hysteria akin to "Reds under the Bed" - reminiscent of the Muldoon years.

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