National Party MP Jian Yang refutes 'Chinese spy' claim

National Party MP Jian Yang refutes 'Chinese spy' claim

He spent time as a student and then lecturing at the People's Liberation Army-Air Force Engineering College and the LuoMr Yang language institute.

But he says allegations he was trained by Chinese spies, or was once a spy himself, are a "smear campaign by nameless people" out to damage him and his party before the election. He was a civilian officer in the military without ranking.

According to stuff.co.nz, New Zealand's biggest news website, Yang admitted that as a lecturer he had taught students how to intercept and decipher communications but not to engage in "the physical act of spying".

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.

The CV also showed that from 1982 to 1987 he worked as a "teaching assistant (associate lecturer)" at the former and a lecturer at the latter from 1990 until 1993 when he moved to Australia to study at the Australian National University. Although after graduation they do those things, but for us it is just language.

"If you define those cadets, or students, as spies, yes, then I was teaching spies, " he said. If that is the case. "[But] I don't think [they were spies] ..."

A joint investigation by Newsroom and Hong Kong's Financial Times claims New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service has investigated the Chinese-born MP, including interviewing a person about him previous year.

Mr Yang said he had never spoken to the NZSIS and wasn't aware of any enquires.

But Yang said he did not consider those students to be spies, personally.

Yang attended university in Canberra before migrating to New Zealand to teach global relations in the politics department at the University of Auckland. He entered Parliament in 2011.

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Yang also said he was a member of the Communist Party while living in China but was no longer a member.

"The National Party advise me he was quite upfront about his background there".

"Everyone I know who's attended the Luoyang Foreign Language Institute has been in Chinese military intelligence or at least linked to that system", Peter Mattis, a Jamestown Foundation expert on China's military and intelligence, was quoted as saying.

He said questions about Mr Yang should be addressed to the New Zealand authorities and that China "upholds the principle of not interfering in others' internal affairs".

Mr Bill English, the leader of the National party, said he had always been aware that Dr Yang was involved in military intelligence when he lived in China, The New Zealand Herald reported.

He challenged "those who are propagating these defamatory statements" to front up and prove them.

According to the New Zealand Herald the 55-year-old MP rejected the accusations as a racist "smear campaign" targeting him "just because I am Chinese".

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang poured scorn on the FT article but said China wouldn't comment on other countries' domestic matters.

"National List MP Jian Yang has not been transparent about his extensive training and service in China's secret intelligence agencies", says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Yang said he was admitted to the Air Force Engineering College, now the Air Force Engineering University, in 1978 as an English major.

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