National MP confirms he taught Chinese spies English

National MP Jian Yang fronts the media

National MP Jian Yang fronts the media over his Chinese military background

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UPDATED 5:30PM: National MP Jian Yang has clarified that he taught Chinese spies English before he moved to New Zealand, but denies acting in any operations or holding any rank in the Chinese military.

Dr Yang held a press conference today after Newsroom reported the list MP did not mention in his work or political CVs the decade he spent in the People's Liberation Army-Air Force Engineering College or the Luoyang language institute run by China's equivalent of the United States National Security Agency. 

He says he was a civilian staff member, paid by the college to teach. He understood that he was teaching spies but he says he did not know if they were spying on New Zealand.

“In the Chinese community many people are aware of this. I feel very relaxed, but there is no reason to actively let everyone know that I have this background. Whenever people ask about this background I will not deny it.

Dr Yang went onto explain that he was not embarrassed but says “people don’t understand the background it can be complicated. People don’t understand the background, they think Chinese military…and feel sensitive about it so why should I really get into this.”

“That’s why I said could understand if it might concern people but once you understand the system and the universities then you understand I am not a spy I am just doing as university lecturer and student.”

The MP confirmed he had been a member of the communist party but was no longer.

While Dr Yang has labelled the statement that he is a spy defamatory, he says he is still taking advice around any potential legal action.

EARLIER:

A National MP who was educated at a Chinese spy school has labelled revelations of his background a smear campaign by others.

Today Newsroom reported list MP Jian Yang did not mention in his work or political CVs the decade he spent in the People's Liberation Army-Air Force Engineering College or the Luoyang language institute run by China's equivalent of the United States National Security Agency. 

It has been reported that to have been taught at the air force college, Dr Yang would have almost certainly been an officer in Chinese military intelligence and a member of the Communist Party, as other students and staff have been.

In a statement, Dr Yang refutes any allegations questioning his loyalty to New Zealand and maintains he has been upfront about his education and employment.

“Although I was not born here, I am proud to call myself a New Zealander, obey our laws and contribute to this country. I challenge those who are propagating these defamatory statements to front up and prove them.

“This is a smear campaign by nameless people who are out to damage me and the National Party ten days from an election, just because I am Chinese.”

Newsroom reported that the Security Intelligence Service had scrutinised Dr Yang at times over three years, including interviewing one person about him last year. The agency says it would not comment on operational matters, especially investigations involving individuals.

The National Party website does mention other aspects of Dr Yang's education including that he received an MA and PhD in International Relations at the Australian National University (ANU). Dr Yang came to the University of Auckland in March 1999 where he held positions including senior lecturer of international relations and associate dean (postgraduate) of the faculty of arts.

He is currently a parliamentary private secretary for ethnic communities, chair of the education and science select committee and a member of the transport and industrial relations select committee.


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34 Comments & Questions

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Would someone do some investigations into miss Arderns Labours Party Leader., and her actitivies with the Young Socialist Party in Europe. Especially when she was being paid as a list MP in our Parliament,by NZ Taxpayers. Watching her on a video addressing a massive crowd of so called students. In the first minute she uttered" four comrades".In five minutes it was around" fifteen comrades" Sounds as if her self styled type of Socialism is bordering on the dreaded word "Communism" Wonder how her bolshi comments and actions overseas,compares with National List MP Mr Jian Yang. After the fiasco by Labours"Twyford " purging property records looking for people with Chinese sounding names. is this just an extension of Labours' policy,or is it all just a coincidence.

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Would love to see that vid of comrade Ardern speaking

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Me too Comrade AndyB - Leighton Smith has been mentioning it a bit too - is this vid an urban myth or not? If not where do we find it?

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Thanks Youtuber - an interesting speech by Jacinda

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Yeah but who among us doesn't regret doing stupid things when we were young, that can come back to haunt us when we're older. Let those without sin and all that mate.

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Ivan, Ardern says it was when she was young? it was 7 years ago, her political bent was well established then. We are not talking as a teenager.

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Don't forget Kiwis don't grow-up until at least 30.

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Many tiertiary institutes in China are state run, does that mean all the working Chinese in NZ are sleeper cells then...pathetic attempt to defame someone

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Some instiutions are more "state controlled" than others. From what is presented above the ones this guy went to look pretty serious on that front.

Nothing wrong with that but you do have to ask if he has been sparing with his background. Really simple question to ask - was this disclosed to the right people or not. If not why not.

No defamation, not questioning his motives / loyalty to NZ etc. But a really simple question of fact.

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Have only read Audrey Young make this point so far and it is of course the right one. It would be good also if media could point out that Dr Yang is technically a Chinese government "defector" and question the National government on their judgment to bring him to sit across from Chinese leaders.

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My mum in-law well remembers the old scare-tactics that National used back in the '70's, with their 'Reds under the bed' campaign......she's quite concerned to read that now they've become MP's!

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If this comes out so close to the election then there is absolutely a political motive behind it. (Edited)

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It is naive for New Zealanders to think that China has not placed spies throughout all levels of New Zealand society, but particularly targeting the Chinese community here, our Universities, high tech companies, Public Service, Police, Military, and Intelligence communities and our political parties. Now I am not implying or suggesting anything about Dr Yang when saying that, but it would be naive for New Zealanders to think that there are no Chinese spies here.

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Chinese, Russians, Americans, English, French, Germans.........probably even the Aussies and Fijians.

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And the Isrealis

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Geez that really sounds neutral Steve, not!

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This is an article from way back in 2012. Interesting to note that Mr Yang was the one to meet the visiting delegation from Huawei, many critics of whom insist it is permanently enmeshed with the CPC. Just sayin'...

Source: https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/controversial-chinese-tech-company-huawei-...

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Does anyone buy this explanation? I

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No I am sorry I don't. Saying we just would not understand is patronising at best. How hard is it ti understand "I was a civilian teacher". Maybe harder to prove that.

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He has a secretary named Miss Moneypenny, what does that tell ya?

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Would correspondents interested to resolve the claims of the Labour Party and settle the allegations,on Mr Yang, care to tune into Newstalk ZB around 6.15 pm tonight. They will hear Fran O'Sullivan give the interviewer Chris Lynch a complete and fair coverage ,with facts regarding the person known as Jian Yang. It sounds as if nothing here,according to Ms O'Sullivan.

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Agreed, just as there is also nothing in the story about Ms Arderns grandfather and the Waikato DHB,

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With her activities in China, perhaps Newsroom should be investigating Ms O'Sullivan's links to the Mainland. She's more likely to be a spy than Mr Yang based on the guesswork and innuendo employed by alleged journalists here.

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What a stupid beat up. Political opportunism at its worst.

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Even funnier considering it was Labour who initiated in 2004 and signed the FTA with China in 2008. Good enough to do business but not enough to have Chinese come here?

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Ironic with all the constant caterwauling of "commies!" at Labour that it should turn out to be National who has allowed this to occur in their party.

Maybe we'll have to start referring to National as "The Party" in future.

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All we need now is for Paul Henry to ask him if he's even a Kiwi?

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Should ask if M rYang still has his Chinese citizenship as well as NZ citizenship ??

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* property investors
* real estate agents
* capital gain crazed farmers
* CHINA

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Why would or should we take the risk with the Chinese track record of infiltrating other governments.
Get shot of him now way out of government and in particular way out of anything to do with decision making that affect our security and so called defense.
To late after the event.....and then ask the question how did we allow this person to be in our government in the first place.
Prudence is what is needed not so called trust.

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I was visiting my mum in-law at her retirement village this arvo, when the talk turned to politics. One of the old chaps said, "....they've all forgotten about the Cambridge Five"

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Bad oversight by the party leadership. If this was say the US or the modern world this "revealation" would be huge here a simple bump in the road, a minor distraction.

Run with it Winnie.

For what it is worth this will be very tight and Labour seem to be getting the student vote with NZ students those from overseas are National.

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May be they were too busy basking in the expected win or selling mansions.

Very poor but knowing the NZ electorate this will all be forgotten as the trembling pens selects the winners.

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