The news organisation that broke the Todd Barclay story is reporting that National List MP Jian Yang has attracted the interest of our Security Intelligence Service; Yang says claims 'defamatory'

The news organisation that broke the story about National's Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay is now carrying an article that says a National Party MP who studied at an elite Chinese spy school before moving to New Zealand has attracted the interest of our Security Intelligence Service.

The allegations provide another - in this case, somewhat off-the-wall, twist in what has been a tumultuous election campaign. National was quickly into full defence/offence mode on the allegations.

Newsroom reports that the National list MP Jian Yang did not mention in his work or political CVs a 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. 

That agency, the Third Department, conducts spying activities for China, Newsroom says.

In a statement issued after the story had been publish on Wednesday, Yang issued a challenge to those "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 has been told that to have taught at the Air Force Engineering College, 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.

Yang studied and then taught there before moving to Australia where he attended the Australian National University in Canberra. He migrated to this country to teach international relations in the politics department at the University of Auckland.  

He was hand-picked by National Party president Peter Goodfellow to become an MP on its list in 2011, wooed directly by the former Prime Minister John Key and has been a key fundraiser for National among the Chinese community in Auckland, Newsroom says.

In a further sign that National was taking the potential impact of the allegations very seriously just 10 days out from the election, Yang was being made available to the media for comment at 4.30pm on Wednesday.

This is the statement from Jian Yang:

"I refute any allegations that question my loyalty to New Zealand.

"I have been nothing but upfront and transparent about my 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."

Also see FT story here.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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87 Comments

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25

The neocolonialism is well under way. Kiwis will sell out their country for a few short term tax cuts and toilet paper money capital gains. Amazing. For a party named National, they sure don't understand anything about sovereignty.

WTV-Trace Research Chinese Poll found 71.1 per cent of ethnic Chinese will vote for National if the election was held tomorrow - Lincoln Tan, NZHerald

The contestable fund provides $520,000 annually for projects that support leadership and social cohesion in ethnic communities as well as cultural events. - Judith Collins, Beehive

About 50 Chinese buyers packed a real estate agency office in Epsom, and snapped up 23 sections within minutes of release yesterday. Lincoln Tan, NZHerald 2015

I see NZHerald and Stuff are running a "poor me, it's a racist smear campaign" sobb story for this spy.

Kiwis so dumb lah.

smart kiwis have left NZ long ago I'm afraid

Yup. That's why we have circa 650,000 in Australia.

If Kiwis' cared that he was born and raised Chinese there would have been an uproar when he joined parliament 6 years ago. Instead we care that he was a military intelligence officer of a strictly authoritarian government that is opposed to democracy.

I would like to see Jian Yang, MP, strongly repudiate the Chinese method of government or immediately resign.

Huh?
Nekh minnit they will be telling us Jacinda Ardern was the leader of the youth wing of the (communist founded in 1907) Second International!!

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16

And here it is in the FT too - https://www.ft.com/content/64991ca6-9796-11e7-a652-cde3f882dd7b

The fact he has served for six years in the governing party of a member country of the “five eyes” intelligence alliance raises questions about western preparedness to deal with China’s increasingly aggressive efforts to influence foreign governments and spy on them.

“China has been very active in recent years placing and cultivating people at the grassroots political levels of western democracies and helping them to reach positions of influence,” said Christopher Johnson, a former senior China analyst at the US Central Intelligence Agency now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Mr Johnson warned that while Beijing appeared to see New Zealand as a softer target than countries such as the US and UK, “it may also be using it as a testing ground for future operations in other countries”. 

And;

But no other western country is known to have a sitting member of parliament with such extensive training in China’s military intelligence apparatus. “In the last 5-10 years, Chinese intelligence agencies have moved heaven and earth to recruit anyone in public life anywhere in the world who they think might work for them,” said one person familiar with Mr Yang who is an expert in China’s global intelligence efforts. “With his education background [Mr Yang] would be a prime target if he was not already an active agent.” 

The Financial Times paper (FT), published and 100% owned by Nikkei Inc,or "Japan Economic News". " The Nikkei, less published in China's democratisation and the pursuit of freedom of the article. France International Broadcasting Station, also says Nikkei Inc "pay attention to the economy and represent the Japanese economic community pro-china position"

From the same article.

"Since being elected in 2011, Mr Yang has been a big fundraiser for the National party. He has consistently pushed for closer ties with Beijing and for international policies and positions echoing those of China’s Communist party."

Creeping backdoor colonialism.

Kiwis so dumb lah!

every chinese from mainland in this country is with Young Pioneers of China since primary school. so SIS has a lot vettings to do.

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21

Even without this unsurprising revelation, it's been clear for quite a while that it is the Chinese who have been pulling the strings in the National party

Are you sure not those Wall St tycoons?

Interesting to read in the herald that he was required to say that he worked at one of the "associated" universities and not admit he was from their military academy. Surely this has to be one of the most revealing statements . It is an admission that his move to the west was being managed by the government and that he was acting under government instructions. One has to have the strong suspicion that he is still acting under government instructions. Clearly not a very bright spy. But then sadly, may be he doesn't need to be?
Interesting to compare this situation in NZ with the "non Australian citizen parliamentarians" . While they have probably gone a bit overboard with it, we seem to way too far in the other direction and may be some provision like this has a lot of merit.

Probably told to say he taught ENglish while there also. If you lied once I am not sure why he wouldn't lie again.

I guess the others in the 5 eyes will be investigating him now so time with tell if there is anything in it.

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23

If we don't vote national out now we mightn't get another chance. And only then will we be able to really see the secretive stuff national has got nz into

Interesting but I am unsure if we should jump to the conclusion that he is part of a fifth column - he hardly hid his past just didn't discuss it.

If true, dump him. There are plenty of good candidates cleaner than him.

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19

Funny how key flicks his fingers and sells his house. Hello to a big wig from where. O China . Really. And that Chinese person is tired up with the Chinese Silk Road . Why does little nz need a promoter for the Silk Road that's trying to take Chinese investor back away from overseas investment like nz that John key backed 4 years ago. Nzers have pressured nationals about to much immigration but national won't or can't change it. Key and national are tired into China over something. And we'll never no. Vote for change and information

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13

Vote for change and information

It would be so refreshing to get a government who wasn't so interventionist about information being made public. The title of "Not a Game of Hide and Seek" was a revealing choice by our Ombudsman in her 2015 review;

http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/system/paperclip/document_files/docum...

pages 9 and 10 are a good read..

It *would* be refreshing.

Although might I suggest the freedom of information act exists because the only information any government really wants public is information that makes it look good.

So I have set my expectations to a setting I call "realistically low" on this front.

10 days before an election , this has either got to be Fake News , speculation or a highly embellished story

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16

Why? Just because you don't believe it doesn't make it false. And with National's history with China can you honestly say it doesn't sound fishy?

Of course it sounds fishy .......... FAKE NEWS usually does

Same chorus line as Donald Trump. Do really identify with him?

“Well….we’ve got plenty of hearsay and conjecture. Those are *kinds* of evidence.”

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15

Fake like. Barclay and the lies about the 11 billion. National are low dogs that'll try anything a wildcard. Barclay FACT. lies about the 11 billion FACT

This is Labour in desperation mode ............. conjuring up a Fake News story like this 240 hours before an election .

If there was any serious truth to this , it would have come out ages ago .

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23

No matter what you think about this MP, it's painfully obvious National are selling NZ to China.

Boatman's frantic entry in the World's "Lipstick on A Pig" competition

Sorry , that is done and dusted - Gareth Morgan is the eternal champion of the Universe.

So your claim is that Labour have somehow manufactured this story? Paranoid delusions much?

It's reported under investigative journalism by Newsroom - it's not come out of the Labour Party.

Why would it have come out earlier? As a journalistic piece it is far more newsworthy near to an election.

I personally think it's a big allegation, maybe even libelous if proved wrong, journalists are pretty careful when treading around those kind of areas.

If he is really a spy, he should have a different CV, studying at Beijing University etc, it's too easy to get from Communist Party, Do you think they are that stupid. So it's fake news I guess.

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15

Or fake cv. Didn't key hunt him out. What is it with key and the Chinese. Did they transfer one of their city's titles into him blind trust

.

Well this fella's got a couple of aliases up his sleeve http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1183...

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18

From Bill English " ...and I think from early on I've been aware that he had military training including military intelligence," English said."

Leaving yourself a bit of wriggle room there Bill?

So if he rises in the party will he get to view Five Eyes Data? US and A must be so happy with us.

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/13/47665/national-no-idea-of-sis-inqu...

Goodfellow says he was vetted by "public relations firm Saunders Unsworth"

"We do not work for any political party nor do we carry out any vetting service for any political party," Unsworth wrote."No one at Saunders Unsworth has ever done any other work on or for Dr Yang but would see him around Parliament from time to time."

"Yang told Newsroom today he had nothing to hide but would not comment further, other than to say, repeatedly: "Talk to my boss."" - Now who would that be - Xi or Farmer?

Kiwis so dumb lah.

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13

And we believed English about Barclay and his backing of Joyce . Did he really say "I think "

Barclay - see he is heading off to London soon. NZ and Clutha Southland are getting so much value from him over these last 3 months.

National must be so proud.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11922055

Have National teed up something for him as payment for keeping his mouth closed about what he heard between Farmer and Glenys?

Vetted by a PR firm eh?

What next, sewage plant construction by a cakemaking firm?

Ah, whoops...

And even they've distanced themselves from it. Being knocked back by a PR firm is this a new low?

If he was an American who worked for the NSA or CIA then that would've been ok. Given that we are all immigrants here or the progeny of immigrants, I can't see why this anti-immigrant attitude keeps rearing its ugly head. Or, perhaps it's just to do with political bias, which I think we all need to tone down. That is always the core reason for national divisions and civil strife. Have respect for each other and our different views and respect whichever way the election goes. Life goes on and no govt will ever bring you prosperity or happiness...only you can do that. Hate and anger just breeds more hate and anger...

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19

What are the negative effects of rampant immigration, the refusal of immigrants to integrate into NZ society and Muslim immigration into Europe? Answer those questions, and you'll know why immigration is disliked.

The core reason for divisions in a country is multiculturalism, not political bias. It has never worked, and never will. Check out Robert Putnam's work into multiculturalism to see it's negative effects.

Wildcard. We wouldn't be talking at all today if today was 2012. Why is that. Let me take a stab at it. Housing would be cheaper and the lies about immigration and overseas investment wouldn't have happened with a very negative affect to people living in cars, the streets, put up in motels , FHBers to a life time of renting. Maybe we should get a time machine and turn the clock back because the last few years were definitely a bad idea and the upcoming recession will be proof of that . Who ever gets elected in. Even national can't turn the clock back on all this dept and the deserting of the overseas investor. Super high house prices and dept against super poor demand other than a few FHBers that might step in. Like I've said before labour should give national the next 3 years and make there move then

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19

Ludwig. Pull your head in . Nzs rules over immigration and overseas investor are the lightest in the world and if not CONTROLLED. Makes for housing unaffordability that UPSETs people. National needs to tone things back. Because YES IT IS ALL NZERS TALK ABOUTS IS THE CHINESE, it's in our face every day. Don't stop talking about it. Don't hide from it. No ones being rude. Facts are facts. If people push to much people push back

I do feel that the government should disclose whether this Chinese spy is part of the immigration policy or an honest mistake.

We are told that diversity is a good thing......right?

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21

National sold the country's soul to the Chinese long ago. No doubt influenced by spies like this from our biggest export market.

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16

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

Huh? Aren't the reporters "fronting up". Prove what? Perhaps at 4.30 pm he'll either confirm or deny that they got all those aspects of his CV right, as that initial press release does neither.

Gee, MFAT will be scrambling.

so the newsroom should show us his party membership certificate. where is it???

Our Orwellian reality.

Diversity = Good
Unity = Bad?

China is engineering human genetics while the west can't even figure out there are exactly two genders.

The cold war era mentality is well and alive.

The world is steadily moving away from being classed by either being capitalism or communism.

Political/economic systems that raise people's well-being and suit for a country's development stage are good systems.

Labeling them differently is deliberately done to create conflict to benefit some ppl or interest groups.

Bit rich

It is done deliberately to make a living as a media outlet. Conflict sells.

People need their safe cuddle blankets of 'us vs them' mentality. So many are so busy making up sides and attacks they actually spend less time actually doing any work.

I bet the media wouldn't be peddling this story if he was Australian and spent 10 years working for ASIO.

Lighten up and enjoy the entertainment value. Chalk it up to the great election campaign extravaganza!

Yes it is all quite entertaining click bait to be honest.

In fairness, I reckon (from the reaction to the Kim Dotcom saga) they absolutely would be if he was an American who had worked for the NSA.

I KNEW IT!

.

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20

Imagine the "NOT "high horse people would be getting on if we were giving the country away to a poor country. Would that still be ,"we are all immigrants and deserve to be here". Nz has slack rules and kiwis can't do half the things in those countries. No one is saying the problem is the Chinese people themselves but the volume of people being to fast a pace that happens to be the Chinese. It was funny tho the other day driving down the road seeing Indian people on each side of the road with signs who to vote for. I won't bother saying the colour of the signs. Buying votes with immigration. Disgusting

Buying votes via immigration has become patently obvious

How many votes will national get from keeping the immigration numbers high. I guess the two main country's would be China and India . Just how many can vote and would lean towards national . Can't be that unfear could it. We have been giving the country away tho but we haven't gone past the point of no return have we. YET

At its best its part of Chinas "Agents of Influence."

At its worst the damage is .......

Never mind, Key brought him in from the cold so he must be ok.

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15

National is blinded by overseas money as he is the one who is in charge of raising money for national.

Shame

Everyone should remember that NewZealand is such a small country that China with their money power can buy it not once but number of time.

Indirect influnence by foriegn country in NZ goverment policy.

Hope that this election is for change.

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11

Ahh ha ha ha. No more Communist jibes about the Greens or Labour now I hope. Given that this National MP was an actual card carrying member of the Communist Party of China!!!

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15

We have the best politicians China can buy.

So many possibilities, so many speculations..These things are too difficult to analyse, accept and digest, just a few days out to the election.
But I guess, the impact on the voting decision of the public won't be much..Just some interesting side show.

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/13/46657/national-mp-trained-by-chine...

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/339335/national-mp-confirms-he-t...

This story is FAKE NEWS , if it was true it would be explosive .

NEWSROOM are a disgrace to journalism

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10

Oh dear, the story's got legs!

However, the party president's claim today that Yang was vetted by public relations firm Saunders Unsworth has been challenged by one of the company principals Mark Unsworth. Asked by Newsroom if the firm had undertaken vetting on Yang, Unsworth said:

“No never – we don’t do work for political parties. We don’t vet politicians, I probably interviewed him for my book sometime after he entered Parliament. Did Peter Goodfellow say this? This is most strange. I will check with my colleagues but I feel sure we would not have done this. We just don’t do this sort of work.”

Oops.

I am sure the CIA has its ten-tickles in our country.
Why be surprised that the Chinese do as well?
At least the Chinese haven't recently been attacking and invading countries unlike our good friend the USA.
We even help the USA conduct their invasions and subjection of other countries.
If we want to hang out with the World bullies we have to expect that other countries will treat us as part of the USA war machine.
The Chinese Yuan might soon start to take over from the USA Petro Dollar as the world currency of trade.
Perhaps we should be embracing Chinese interest in our politics. I think we are on the wrong side of history at the moment.

Ever hear the one about the frog and the saucepan?

He did not name his institutions on his citizenship application- rather he wrote 'partner' universities.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11922025

Its pretty well know that China has it's own sophisticated state sponsored industrial espionage unit PLA-61398. They seriously damaged Lockheed Martin. We're head to head with China and we cant compete on labour costs. Think about companies like fonterra, raycon, F%P healthcare. .

DP

Didn't mention the 10 years at the spy shop when he applied for citizenship. This guy makes Todd Barclay look like fresh of breath air.

How is this not worse than Metiria Turia's rip off of the system?

Remember it was John Key who brought him in from the cold. Shows you that his reason for the flag debate was to speed up the Chinafucation by removing the link to Britain.

Kiwis so dumb lah!

With the Chinafication of NZ well under way and having complete his house sale to an offshore Chinese, Mr Chong Key was off to play golf with a knighthood in the bag.

Poor John Key failed to change the flag
So then he packed a bit of a sad
Shot through with his knighthood 
Said see ya Bill it's all looking bad

He sold his house to an offshore chinese 
And he left the country on its knees
No more pony tailed girls to tease
Off to play golf in Hawaii if you please

Steven says there's an eleven billion hole
Now looks like he scored an own goal
He failed most of his economic papers 
Now Bill ain't gonna do him any favours

Nats took over a ten billion debt
Now it's ninety billion - jesus wept!
Meanwhile on the streets thousands slept
This has truly been a government inept

Under funded education, police and health
Only the one percent are feeling the wealth
It's nigh on impossible to buy a first home
Especially when you have a big student loan

The Brightline test, new taxes and LVR's 
GST increase, people sleeping in cars
Child poverty and lack of productivity
Water by the shipload exported for free
Our rivers filled with poo and wee

They really have screwed up the nation
Let in far too many through immigration 
Its certainly been a long nine years
Now it's all gonna end in tears

The Nats campaign has gone very wrong
There's a mood for change that's ultra strong
For Bill losing twice it's not a good position
Bennett or Collins for Leader of the opposition!

Heaven forbid to your last line for either opposition or Government!

I will upvote if you post this to the NZ Young Nats Facebook page

Not on Facebook - perhaps you could put it on the Young Nats page

Excellent summing up of National's last 9 years, cheers.

Took a while for the Herald to sift thru the tea leaves. says its a career ending move, never mind, Deputy Nat leader by Xmas.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11922051

"What matters is whether he told the truth to New Zealand authorities in gaining entry to the country and in gaining citizenship which he gained in 2004.

And what also matters is whether anybody in National was aware that the truth of his former employment had not been told.

Making anything other than a true declaration to gain citizenship in 2004 is a career ending move, not to mention unlawful.

Look no further than Metiria Turei's false declarations to claim extra employment benefit or her false electoral declaration in the 1990s, supposedly to vote for a friend"

Man, imagine the comments here if he'd been an MP in the Labour Party, given all the silly comments we already see calling Labour "communists" and the like.

Ironically, it turns out to be National who may well fit the cap instead.

And telling porkies about a PR agency (of all things) vetting the MP? Wowzers...

Greens, NZ First and now National have had a leader/MP getting into trouble because of something that happened in their lives. Labour's turn next, you think ?

Interesting further update.

And some interesting commentary on the legal aspects of National's Chinese connection:

He intentionally lied in his immigration and citizenship applications. That's extremely serious criminal offending (7 years imprisonment/$100,000 fine per offence) and it's sufficient grounds to have your citizenship stripped and to be deported (it also disqualifies you from sitting as an MP, and, on conviction, it automatically vacates a seat):

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2009/0051/latest/DLM1440846.html
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2009/0051/latest/DLM1441146.html
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1977/0061/latest/DLM443892.htm...

Not only has admitted he lied in his applications (providing false names for where he studied/worked), but he admitted that he lied intentionally on instruction of the Chinese government. [Source]

He satisfies all the mens rea tests for intentionally/wilfully/knowingly deceiving INZ.

...I want the deportation process started and if he doesn't think he should be deported, he should have to explain why like everyone else. Literally all that is required is that the Minister of Immigration/Department of Internal Affairs determines that false information was provided in these cases. Yang has already admitted he did this knowingly. If the Ministers determine he lied, his only statutory ground of appeal is that his deportation should be stopped for humanitarian reasons.

I wonder if he provided forged documents from the universities he claimed to work/study in?

EDIT: As he's admitted both the act of lying to INZ, and the dishonest intention behind the lie, I think we can conclude that he is ineligible to be an MP and his seat should be vacated. Legally it requires a conviction, but the only thing standing in the way of a conviction is the fact that he's concealed his lies until now and so the process hasn't happened yet.

Seats are vacated when people are convicted of crimes that carry a potential punishment of more than 2 years imprisonment. The crime he has admitted to is punishable by 7 years imprisonment.

Source: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM308531.html

Someone should file a private prosecution. He's signed his own conviction by admitting his intentions in public.

EDIT 2: This is quite possibly the "mother of all scandals" from a few weeks ago. The legal implications haven't been discussed that much because none of the mainstream media are scrutinising the situation, but basically as a result of the Newsroom investigations, legally Mr Jian Yang should be deported, stripped of citizenship, and stripped of his seat. These are really serious charges and they aren't going to go away.

Would make sense if this was the "mother of all scandals" everyone assumed was going to be about Paula Bennett. The suggestion was the article was being held back while being cleared by legal.