Jian Yang must resign | The Jackal

15 Sept 2017

Jian Yang must resign

When a story labelled the mother of all scandals turned out to be news on NZ First leader Winston Peters being overpaid his pension broke, I was a bit disappointed to say the least. Clearly a different story breaking on the same day, that Police had illegally accessed blogger Martyn Bradbury's banking information, was a far more serious issue.

However, only a week out from New Zealand's general election and an investigative report about our national security is shaping up to dwarf them all. Astoundingly, the Financial Times and Newsroom report on National MP Jian Yang teaching Chinese cadets how to be good spies before becoming a politician didn't immediately cause his resignation.

I guess the National party adopted their often-used wait and see policy. So here's a brief rundown of the international response so far.

On Wednesday, The Guardian reported:

China-born New Zealand MP denies being a spy

A China-born MP for New Zealand’s ruling party has denied being a spy after it emerged that he had spent years studying and teaching in universities with links to Chinese intelligence services.

“I am not a spy,” Yang Jian, the National party’s first MP born in mainland China, told reporters on Wednesday after a joint investigation by the Financial Times and New Zealand’s Newsroom revealed what they described as his hidden past.

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”.

Yesterday, The Times reported:

I taught Chinese spies, admits New Zealand MP Jian Yang

A New Zealand MP in the governing party has admitted he taught Chinese spies at a school run by the People’s Liberation Army in central China.

Jian Yang, who is the only Chinese MP in the National Party of the prime minister, Bill English, confirmed that he had taught English there but denied he was a spy himself.

Yesterday, SBS reported:

New Zealand MP defends teaching English to Chinese spies

A New Zealand government MP has admitted teaching English to Chinese spies when he was a lecturer at a language institute run by China's spy agency.

But National's Jian Yang says to him they were just students collecting information by monitoring the communications of other countries.

Dr Yang has labelled media reports he was an officer in China's People's Liberation Army and member of the Communist Party as a racist smear campaign, but admits both are true.

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 last year.

Yesterday, The LA Times reported:

China-born New Zealand lawmaker says he's loyal to new home

New Zealand lawmaker who was born in China said Wednesday he taught Chinese spies while working at that nation's elite military colleges but had never engaged in any intelligence activities himself and was loyal to his new nation.

Jian Yang told reporters he'd never tried to hide his background but hadn't always highlighted it either because New Zealanders might feel sensitive about his ties to the Chinese military.

What needs to be mentioned again is that Jian Yang blatantly lied on his New Zealand application for citizenship by failing to tell authorities that he had worked in Chinese military institutes. This is a serious criminal offence that means Yang cannot remain an MP.

The dishonest Yang must resign before he does further damage to our international standing. It isn’t just blogger's like me who’re saying this either... the case for Yang to resign has been well made by one of New Zealand’s leading experts on China relations.

Yesterday, 1 News reported:

It's nothing personal - but National MP Dr Jian Yang should resign

Leading Kiwi macroeconomist Rodney Jones says we need to separate the personal controversy surrounding National List MP Dr Jian Yang from the more important discussion - New Zealand's national security and who is suitable to hold office in this country.

Mr Jones, who is based in China offering companies financial advice on the Chinese market, says he has nothing against Dr Yang but says the National MP should resign.

Mr Jones says there is no place in a New Zealand parliament, let alone a government, for a man who was once a member of the Chinese Communist Party.

He says it's unfortunate this controversy has arisen so close to the election but New Zealand has to establish some clear boundaries on who can be eligible to be an MP.

So what the bloody hell is the National party waiting for?

By not taking affirmative action on the matter, Bill English looks terribly weak as Prime Minister and the Minister of National Security and Intelligence.

He's also doing his cause of staying on as National party leader after the election no favours at all by being so ineffective at maintaining the government's and our national security.

Let's see what the old boozer does after some international pressure comes to bear.