National list MP Jian Yang to retire from politics, having spent recent years making headlines for his strong connections to the Chinese Communist Party

National list MP Jian Yang to retire from politics, having spent recent years making headlines for his strong connections to the Chinese Communist Party
Jian Yang

National list MP Jian Yang will retire from politics at the September 19 election.

He didn't provide a reason for stepping down, but said politics was "demanding" and he looked forward to spending more time with his family.

Yang made the announcement, having come under renewed scrutiny in recent weeks for declining interviews with New Zealand media.

He made headlines in 2017 when Newsroom revealed he taught English to students in China so they could monitor communications and collect information, and attracted the interest of New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.

He didn’t mention in his CV 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.

Yang also helped National’s former leader, Simon Bridges, and foreign affairs spokesperson, Gerry Brownlee, meet one of the most powerful people in the Communist Party of China.

During a trip to China last year, the trio met Guo Shengkun - one of 25 people with a seat on the Central Politburo, which oversees the Party. Bridges was criticised for an interview he did with Chinese media during the visit, in which it sounded like he was singing off a Chinese government song sheet. 

Yang said in a statement: “After careful consideration and talking to my wife and children, I have decided, that after serving three most rewarding terms in the National Party caucus, I will not stand in the 2020 General Election.

“Accordingly, I have informed the Party President that I should not be considered by the Regional list ranking committee of the Northern Region in its meeting tomorrow, hence my announcement today.

“I truly believe that New Zealand is a great country. I have been in New Zealand for 21 years, twelve years in academia and nine years in politics.

“I have been proud to be a part of what I think is a Caucus that is truly representative of the ethnic diversity that is modern New Zealand, and to have played my part as a Chinese New Zealander in the governance of our amazing country.

“Politics is demanding and I now look forward to spending more time with my wife and family. It has been a privilege to serve and after nine years it is also time for me to move on and encourage the younger generation to come forward.

“I am truly grateful for the unfailing support I have received from the Party, my colleagues and the wider Chinese community.

“It has been a great honour to represent the Chinese community as a National MP in Parliament. I am proud that I have been able to assist numerous Chinese constituents and enabled the Chinese community to better understand and participate in New Zealand’s open and democratic politics. And I will continue to support New Zealand’s hard-working Chinese community outside of caucus.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my work in Parliament. It has been a great privilege to be part of successful National Governments, led by Rt Hon Sir John Key and Rt Hon Sir Bill English and to have chaired two select committees. I wish Todd and the team all the best to win the election. New Zealand needs a National Government.

“As a Member of Parliament with Chinese heritage, I made my contribution to NZ-China relations. My trips to China with Prime Minister John Key, Ministers and colleagues are some highlights of my political career. I have witnessed the rapid growth of New Zealand’s trade with China and I am pleased to have played a role in it.

“I am proud to be a New Zealander, and a member of the National Party whom I will continue to support into the future.”

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86 Comments

57
up

Good riddance.

Is this the start of Pooh pulling China away from trading with us.
Just my suspicions mind working overtime, I hope.

FANTASTIC!!!!
And if Bridges is reigned in I think I may vote National next time!

16
up

Why? You don't think National will fill the spot with another CCP affiliate?

I think the media heat was too much for him to maintain his position, it is much smarter for National to pass the baton to another CCP affiliate at this point as there would be less scrutiny.

Maybe he is getting worried that the NZ SIS will investigate his links to the CCP as is occurring in Oz right now for this bloke:
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-mp-s-sydney-home-raided-as-asio-...

Exactly, I think he's smart enough to see the writing on the wall and jump ship.

32
up

who is going to give the orders from the master now,
I hope labour takes note and moves there one on too.
how about picking a Chinese representative that is third generation kiwi so there is no baggage, after all Chinese decendants have been in NZ since the gold rush, and many have gone on to be mayors so they are out there waiting to serve in politics

good idea

11
up

Although there are many recent immigrants from Hong Kong who would have a more balanced view of the CCP.

Meng Foon is superb.

Agree. He'd be a fantastic candidate, particularly if you compare him with Gary Tong (he's buddies with Zikun Zhang : "why would Zhang, who has direct links to the Chinese Communist Party and has been pictured with some of New Zealand’s most high-profile politicians, be courting a provincial mayor?" https://www.newsroom.co.nz/the-donor-the-mayor-and-the-national-party-links )

Or.... we could keep all foreign born out of NZ politics altogether??

10
up

Leave it to the electorate to decide - if NZ citizens decide they want a madman or complete weirdo as their MP then that is their choice (similar to England choosing Kings who couldn't speak English). List MPs - they seem to be selected by whichever identity group donates most money.

Obvious reforms: only citizens voting at national elections, only citizens as candidates, restrictive rules for list candidates (say 25 years living in NZ??), funding of parties by the state (a very reluctant conclusion but the alternative is political parties being bought by the wealthy and even by foreign governments).

Tim shadbolt was pretty much considered to be a nutter/weirdo by Jaffas when he chose to upsticks and take his concrete mixer to the deep south (he had to leave the Mayoral limo behind!) and look what he has achieved there.

Was just saying last night to my partner that Tim Shadbolt is a national treasure! Definitely no sarcasm here.

Jian Yang was a list MP, not elected. And many folk will vote for their traditional party regardless of minor aberrations like being beholden to foreign interests.

So our government is not legitimate then?

Funding by the state is a no brainer. Donations ARE corruption. I think all politics should stay NZ born. Anything less allows for foreign influence, which is nearly always at odds with what benefits the majority of society. My opinion is that you emigrate to a certain country because you like it the way it is and prefer it to your homeland, not because you want to turn it into a mini diorama of your country of origin.

Funding by the state only goes one of two ways.. create a party with a handful of mates to get free handout money to run an election campaign (aka piss up/events for the boyz), or no new parties have a hope in hell of getting publicity and votes, so we entrench the status quo..

Todd Muller could come out of this looking good ( well, better!)
He and National are dead in the water right now, so why not go for broke with whatever the electorate dislikes? Makes him look strong ( Ardern has that on her own at the moment) and gives space for a new manifesto, like, cutting immigration?
Who knows, but it will be worth a watch from now on without the cringe factor of Muller trying not to step too politically carefully. He and National have nothing to lose.

Todd from Accounts is not used to all this cloak and dagger stuff. Don't get the idea that he has any original thinking. I suspect he still sings from the same hymn book. His quote y'day about govt surpluses y'day suggests that he isn't the brightest star in the galaxy.

15
up

There is no way in hell the Nats will cut immigration.

There is no way in hell the Nats will cut immigration.

Yes. No way in hell they would give up that cash cow.

23
up

Seems everybody can feel that the wind is shifting.
That's a couple of positive efforts to improve from within National in recent days - booting Walker and Boag for ethical failings and now Jian for association with the evil empire.

And a dancing Bennet gone. All we need is Collins and Woodhouse to call it a day, and the decks have been cleaned!

11
up

At that point the only people left are the one's we know nothing about. Which only means we are yet to find out their skeletons. The National party is riddled with the unethical because it's principle values are only to give more power to the wealthy and powerful.

BW, you missed Mullet -Boy from Lower Hutt.

16
up

This was not a National Party directive.
They literally just promoted him up the list.

We've all done things in our pasts that we do differently today. So let's take him at his word ( I know; politician, right?!):
“I am proud to be a New Zealander, and a member of the National Party whom I will continue to support into the future.”

BW, I was loyal to National especially during the early Key government but when things started to unravel at the end of his last term and he knew he lost the support of the NZ public and decided to go giving 7 days notice. On assessing his government, they didn't really do anything over nine years. Bill English with his Bubblegum Budgets. I know they had the Christchurch Earthquake disaster but they managed that process very poorly.
As a consequence, I became, de-nationised.
You also have to reflect on where they are today - nowhere, really.
As a consequence, I cast my vote to whatever benefits me personally.

More likely a CCP directive.

I doubt that. To have a sleeper in NZ politics would be off the standard Chinese playbook.

And now Muller being caught lying about Boag and Woodhouse:

A party spokeswoman said today Woodhouse told Muller this on Tuesday night.

But the next day, Muller was specifically asked by reporters "have you checked with Woodhouse, specifically, whether he received that same information from Boag".

"No," replied Muller...

..."She's made it clear publicly her only interaction was with Hamish, and no doubt that'll get confirmed in the process with Michael Heron QC," Muller said.

Ouch. This news re Yang could've helped, but he's messed up here. That wind shifting may have been hot air.

Muller bailing the boat fast to keep it afloat. This is very see through act of desperation but at least they are slowly getting the message.
Now they need to purge the next behind power controller, the Catholic church.

It's the Pentecostal faction you have to watch out for in National. The Catholics will at least let you have a drink or several should you feel so inclined.

They were even deeper into religion than I realised then.
The Catholics may have a drink with you but that won't stop them stabbing you in the back 5 minutes later.

I suspect you have to take that as part of the territory with politics.

The Catholics are at least a broad church, plenty of diversity of political opinion amongst them.
It's the Brethrens whose interference I resent. They are very regressive and very ruthless. Like to play the victim but are absolutely shameless about stabbing non-Brethren in the back.

I am not religious but still feel that this is not a helpful comment.

No offence intended. I just have deep seated ill feelings towards groups that allow pedophilia.

There is a part of that that I agree with. Not the paedophilia part, but broader effects of religious influence that can be entitled, highly judgemental, and damaging.

We can keep going back into their history. Funding the Nazis, allowing them to murder 11 million Jews and gladly take their relics.
Murdering anyone who did not share their views.
The list is massive and litted with the blood of others.
Apparently the CCP is bad for doing the same stuff and we can all comment but heaven forbid that we mention religion.... open and frank discussion is needed instead of hush tones in the courner. As people are saying, to turn a blind eye is to allow it.

What many people do not seem to understand is that religion (not a belief in God) is just another set of politics. And Todd Muller has informed us that he is a member of two political parties, one of which is trying to be the Government. Have no doubt the both sides will be influenced by the other.

True...from a time when questioning and taking a different direction held far more risk for the tribe / group, thus was to be discouraged. The boat was rocky enough as it was, without someone deliberately rocking it.

Exactally. I strongly object to religion saying one thing but their actions are completely opposite to that and that influencing how this country is run. They are the very same as the CCP but more mainstream and ingrained like alcohol and its ill effects on the community.

What about the religion that Lee Kuan Yew said could not co-exist with Christians, Buddhists and Hindus?

31
up

no wonder he is smiling,nine years of not doing much and a cool pension.

23
up

Yes nine years as the CCP stooge in our Government and we give him a highly lucrative pension and benefits, that no other ordinary Kiwi can get. This should highlight the rort that MP pay and benefits are!

Deja vu.

(1) National was odds-on to win the last election when Little was trying to hold Labour together. When it looked like the game was up for him, and them, he strategically handed over the reins to Ardern with weeks to go. Couldn't be further out than out, and Labour won. (MMP, eh!)
(2) Labor was an almost unbackable favourite to wing the last Aussie election.
The LNP ( our National) saw mass 'retirements' and replacements with weeks to go and a new Leader ( Morrison) left to try to keep the remains of the Party together. What happened? Against all the odds, they got in.

I wonder what happens next!

I think both countries got the governments they needed at the time.

14
up

It has been a great honour to represent the Chinese community.........OR is it representing CPP

Why is China President on war path with most countries in the world :

https://youtu.be/ZkFv2cB5_XA

It has to end as all such ambition by any dictator in the world has ended in disastor

May be National party too understand the mood of the people (In Fact world) and will decide to distance themselves with their friends in China though it is political parties like national party that have played a role in creating a monster that is challenging world peace.

Also national party should understand the difference between real prosperity and so called rock star economy.

10
up

Great news. Interesting at a time of increased focus onto his CCP involvement and refusal to talk. Maybe a directive from his puppet masters to get out before the unease turns to something more?

thanks so much for taking a much influential role during the next several years while National gets their act together.

I trust that you will come back with a much better position to keep representing not only the Chinese Community in NZ but most importantly NZ to the global community of shared future.

祝君,百尺竿头,更进一步。

What evidence do we have that he has represented Kiwis with Uighur, Taiwanese, Tibetan origins and Falun Gong refugees or do you consider such people outcasts from the Chinese community?
I agree with you about the National party needing to get their act together. At least the Act party has its act together.

Does he represent the ex-Hong Kong Chinese in NZ?
I doubt that very much.

Slurp slurp slurp...

Spare us the propoganda. China and NZ just buy each others stuff, that doesnt mean we're married or even suitors. Our family is Australia and youve decided to go to war with them. Which side do you think we'll back.

Give us a break from your drival xingweewang!

18
up

Yes, Jian Yang will not be missed, especially with his CV & not disclosing it when asked. Mind you, the CCP will have got all the info they need for now. And Mr Ho will fill the gaps I'm sure. It's tricky as many Chinese in NZ are from Taiwan & Hong Kong and you would expect most of them to be pro democracy. But as we saw in the university situation re the Hong Kong protests right here in Auckland, we have a strong pro-CCP element domiciled in NZ. Look at what's happening in America right now. There's over 1,000 cases being investigated of Chinese passing IP back to Beijing. They're hard to trust alright.

25
up

How could a former trainer of Spy from China be in our parliment.

Can anyone imagine with its expertise how much information would have been leaked and what role he would have played in influencing NZ policy to suit China.

How can one be not sure that he was not reporting and taking order from China and also not helping China in corrupting our political people/system.

Can anyone deny that second language displayed in signboard in NZ after english is in Chinesse. No harm but does it not signifys anything.

Anyone noticed how many Chinese (language) TV channels there are on Freeview? Yikes! Don't have Sky but picking there's a few on there as well?

And they play very militaristic pro CCP programs at certain times of the year.
Complete and utter brainwashing.

So now we have the only known Magic Weapon sitting in Labour (Huo).

And Simon Bridges and David Parker as well.

Good news for New Zealand but it has messed me up. I am convinced that voting is a right we must exercise but like many of the commentors I have mixed feelings about all our political parties. Until I read this I had totally ignored National because they would never get my vote until Dr Jian Yang resigned or made any speech critical of the Communist party of China. In fact I was about to bite the bullet and join the local Labour party. Now I've decided I will delay that big step until Raymond Huo MP says something about Falun Gong, Organ Harvestings and Uighur concentration camps.
So my dilemma remains - who to vote for and which party to donate to (if Kiwis don't make donations to political parties then we know their funding is from Shanghai and Beijing).

Ha

His connections in the CCP arena must have still been strong enough to be able to facilitate:

"Yang also helped National’s former leader, Simon Bridges, and foreign affairs spokesperson, Gerry Brownlee, meet one of the most powerful people in the Communist Party of China.

During a trip to China last year, the trio met Guo Shengkun - one of 25 people with a seat on the Central Politburo, which oversees the Party. Bridges was criticised for an interview he did with Chinese media during the visit, in which it sounded like he was singing off a Chinese government song sheet."

Who got Helen Clakes foit in the door to get her trade deal sorted. Labour is in just as deep as National.
This guy stepping down dose not change anything. It is just pushed further behind closed doors.

Thanks MMP and list MP system for providing us such unaccountable political hacks. Why stop at this dude - call it a day on list MPs. No constituents - no trough.

But, but, but, that would mean the Party Central Commissars giving up their power to the local, er, people.

I'm an Anglo kiwi does that mean Members of Anglo Celtic stock are there to represent that community?

Haha. No way!
If you are an white dude, nobody, just nobody represents your interests. Just look at schooling and the proportion of male teachers.
The way NZ and the western world is going it won't be long before quotas of immigrants and women are required to be employed ahead of white males regardless of talent, ethics etc.

Uninterested,

Oh you poor thing-another downtrodden white male who just wants life to be like it used to be when everyone else knew their place. But now, some of them are getting uppity and raising uncomfortable issues.

"Nobody represents your interests". You might just want to look at the makeup of any institution you can think of: parliament, the civil service, the judiciary, the police force, the upper echelons of the armed forces and what would you find? Overwhelmingly white, middle aged and middle class. Stop snivelling. You are not Uninterested, just Uninformed.

Are these people in these positions because they are the best or because of race? Do you pick your Dr, your architect, your midwife, your mechanic based on race? Most of us couldn't care less what race they are.
We are led to believe racism is rife but bugger all people actually know a racist? Left wing rubbish designed to create social chaos is what this is about.
Democracies are the lest racist countries in the world...yet are the ones attacked.
Historical colonialism and cultural dysfunction doesn’t = we are racist today.

Are you kidding? You think 'nobody, just nobody' at all represents the interests of 'white dude's...? You mention teachers, and completely ignore the many places in which white males have incredible influence.

Hallelujah. One headache over for Todd.

Be sure the CCP will plant another.

Why is Yang not being deported for falsifying his immigration papers, that he confessed to? Lets get him out of NZ, he is a spy! Then lets bring in Direct Democracy so we can take democracy back from the self serving politicians.

“Politics is demanding and I now look forward to spending more time with my wife and family. It has been a privilege to serve and after nine years it is also time for me to move on and encourage the younger generation to come forward.

“I am truly grateful for the unfailing support I have received from the Party, my colleagues and the wider Chinese community.

“It has been a great honour to represent the Chinese community as a National MP in Parliament. I am proud that I have been able to assist numerous Chinese constituents and enabled the Chinese community to better understand and participate in New Zealand’s open and democratic politics. And I will continue to support New Zealand’s hard-working Chinese community outside of caucus

Imagine if for the above statement, the word Chinese was replaced with British, dutch, american or german. It would sound racist. Clearly he was only working for one part of the community

National has just reduced the amount of baubles needed to snare Winston on 20th September.

How unusual is this resignation? A couple of recent media pieces and a slight increase in focus around the unusual nature of his position (given his background) results in a resignation. Seems like a very strong response to some surface investigation; any other politician would swat this away. This resignation reeks of wanting to remove any incentive to further investigation... wonder what would be uncovered?

Excellent! Next steps: Tighten up security vetting of would be Parliamentary candidates. Reform electoral financing to make it totally transparent and diminish the ability of behind the scenes donations to influence politicians.

An addition thought or two. Perhaps he was asked to resign from Parliament by CCP as he was attracting too much attention, which could undermine the strategic CCP aim to increase influence in NZ. In terms of successful revolutionary tactics Mao Tse Tung said "The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea" lets replace guerrilla with politician) but with all the publicity he was getting, he was more like a brightly lit trawler blundering about.

If he didn't resign using English then most of us wouldn't know he retired...Come to think of it that probably was the idea.

Just slip out the back, Jack

Do you think he could spend some time criticizing the appalling record of the Chinese communist party. 1million Uighur people imprisoned, Hong Kong takeover, organ harvesting of prisoners, thousands executed annually, imprisonment for free speech, prison slave labour, torture. Hmm no mention...good riddance

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