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Jian Yang and his residence application

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, November 5th, 2017 - 68 comments
Categories: accountability, bill english, China, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, International, national, Politics - Tags:

A story that has been bubbling away recently is that of National MP Jian Yang.  News broke just before the election that he had links to the Chinese Government, had taught Chinese spies and had been investigated by the SIS.

From the Newsroom story published at the time:

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 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 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.

The local media then went quiet on the story up to the election.  But since then and with Yang returned to Parliament more attention has been given to the story.

Yang originally said that the claim he was a Chinese spy or was trained by spies was a “smear campaign by nameless people”.  Subsequently he has admitted that he did teach English to students in China so they could monitor communications and collect information.

Matt Nippert obtained Yang’s application for residency and this provided interesting information.  The documents were released on the afternoon of the announcement of the new Government.  From the article:

Documents released under the Official Information Act (OIA) also show less than a year after leaving China in 1994 he was working at the Australian Parliament on the Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The documents were released this afternoon, on the eve of Winston Peter’s announcement of the formation of a new government, following OIA requests made last month by the Herald.

Yang moved to New Zealand in 1999, becoming a lecturer in political science at the University of Auckland, then entering Parliament on the National Party’s list in 2014. He re-entered Parliament at the recent general election after being placed 33rd on the party’s list.

The documents show Yang referred to his work and study history in China – 15 years in total from 1978 – as solely with “Luoyang University”.

It has subsequently been revealed Yang graduated with an undergraduate degree from military-linked institutions the People’s Liberation Army Air Force Engineering Academy, and later lectured at the elite spy school the Luoyang Foreign Languages Institute.

And Yang appears to confirm that the information in his application for residence was not, ahem, correct.

In a press conference after the report of his background broke, Yang said he had served as a civilian officer in the [People’s Liberation Army] and was required … not to name the institutions as a condition of being allowed to leave China.

He declined today to elaborate on who exactly had requested he kept the institutions vague.

He said last month he was not a spy, but conceded he was involved in training spies to assess intercepted communications.

Get that?  He told New Zealand Immigration that he worked in a different institution “as a condition of being allowed to leave China”.  One could imagine that if he had said that he taught in a military institution teaching Chinese spies alarm bells within New Zealand Immigration may have gone off.

Bill English has suggested that Yang has not hidden his background.  This directly conflicts what Yang himself has admitted.

Immigration appear to be indifferent to the situation.  Again from the article:

In a note accompanying the release, Immigration New Zealand said: “We note that Mr Yang met all the requirements under the relevant legislation at the time of his residence application and no character concerns were identified at the time.”

Questions to Immigration NZ about whether recent concerns about the level of Yang’s disclosure, or subsequent character concerns, had triggered investigations at the department were answered in a statement by INZ Assistant General Manager Geoff Scott.

“No new information has come to light which would warrant an investigation,” Scott said.

So what could happen?  Well providing false or misleading information when making an application for an Immigration visa is a serious matter.  And there is power to cancel a visa.

The matter has attracted international attention with the New York Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian reporting on Yang.

Of course relationships with China are vital and I do not think that the Government would want to do anything to affect these relationships.  It is quite possible that nothing further will happen and Yang will continue as a National MP.  But it seems strange that a supporter of the Chinese Communist Party should be a National MP.  How times have changed.

68 comments on “Jian Yang and his residence application”

  1. cleangreen 1

    Yes Micky,

    Anyone who is/was a member of the Communist Party Governmentr of China must be viewed with deep suspicion.

    “a leopard never changes his spots”

    • Unicus 1.1

      “A lepard never changes its spots ” Certainly not this one –

      The New Zealand Government must have known of China’s imperialist ambitions when they so irresponsibly signed up for that godamn free trade agreement . And that the Bejing fascists would imediately use it to set up a surrogate administration here among the bourgeoning diaspora of Chinese nationals they were planning to establish here .

      The new government should treat as a priority not just bringing Yang and his ilk to justice but to recast the entire relationship with China in particular trade and imigration

  2. Of course relationships with China are vital and I do not think that the Government would want to do anything to affect these relationships.

    Are they vital or are they toxic?

    Because lately it seems that the relationship is more toxic than beneficial as we seem to keep doing things against our best interests to keep China happy.

    But it seems strange that a supporter of the Chinese Communist Party should be a National MP.

    Both parties are authoritarian.

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    Curious that the OIA documents were released to Nippert and hour or two before Peters’ announcement of the Labour-NZF coalition – presumably the Nats knew by that time, where NZF were going to align.

    I am wary of drawing straight forward conclusions based on evidence in the public domain. This is the murky world of international intelligence and game playing.

    There is clearly a covert (and sometimes not so covert) struggle going on between the US and China with respect to global political and economic dominance.

    The public evidence points towards Yang being a Chinese intelligence operative.

    However, what is the possibility that he was turned by 5 Eyes counter-intelligence operatives? And that this will never be publicly confirmed.

    However, what is the point of making an ex-Chinese spy, turned 5 Eyes tool, an MP – a very public position?

    It’s all very puzzling.

    • However, what is the point of making an ex-Chinese spy, turned 5 Eyes tool, an MP – a very public position?

      Great position for an actual Chinese spy though – especially if these details hadn’t come out.

    • mac1 3.2

      “However, what is the point of making an ex-Chinese spy, turned 5 Eyes tool, an MP – a very public position?” asks Carolyn_nth.

      I’d say a very public expression of ‘comradeship’. Such a relationship would also tend towards building trust for a NZ position regarding China as one of ‘theirs’ is also one of ‘ours’. Such a placement might well act as confirmation of intent etc and an insider’s take on developments. It might also provide a person able to shoulder-tap or lobby within caucus, and provide names of friendly ears.

      Is that what spies do? It certainly is what diplomatic marriages did amongst leaderships, and even to a degree as did hostages.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    What are the consequences for Yang now he’s disobeyed orders and come clean? Or did he get permission?

    • Tracey 4.1

      Last night a high up NZIS said of another case that when it looks like there is a deliberate lie on an application they have no choice but to act! Contrast with response over this deliberate lie

  5. Pomohaka 5

    Who were the other National Party donors that Yang corralled?

    Did it include Pacific Power Developments that KiwiRail like to use to buy shoddy and obsolete railway equipment from China?

    Do these donors have extraordinary connections with the Chinese Communist Party?

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Its hard to say. But one of the large donors, Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (NZ) Ltd (I kid you not) has a parent company registered in Mongolia.

      Donation details are at http://www.elections.org.nz/parties-candidates/registered-political-parties/party-donations/donations-exceeding-30000/returns

      Companies office records are at https://app.companiesoffice.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/5190341

      • Pomohaka 5.1.1

        Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry sounds like a cover in order for something to remain hidden.

        Is there a way to keep political party donations less than $30,000 in order to prevent them being declared and made public?

        Is Mr Huang, the director of Pacific Power Developments Ltd (the NZ company that KiwiRail uses to buy Chinese Railway equipment) the son of a high ranking Chinese Communist Party official?

        Which KiwiRail executives/managers/consultants have been ‘wined and dined’ by Mr Huang and co. in China in order to show his gratitude for making him very rich?

        Which other SOE’s have made large purchases, often untendered, from China during last 8 years? And who really benefited and who in NZ were destroyed?

        How do such practices make China vital to the NZ economy?

        Have we been buying inferior Chinese industrial equipment merely to reciprocate balance of trade in order for China to continue to buy our dairy trade?

        Given our new government has already been bold about the future of railway in NZ, why haven’t we heard any public comments from KiwiRail management about the prospect of a brighter future? Has the gravy train been derailed???

        Was KiwiRail’s real purpose over the last 8 years to manage the ‘inevitable’ decline of rail while every other country with it enjoys a rail renaissance? Why is NZ so out of step with the rest of world when it comes to rail transport?

        • simonm 5.1.1.1

          “Have we been buying inferior Chinese industrial equipment merely to reciprocate balance of trade in order for China to continue to buy our dairy trade?”

          To answer your question – Yes.

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/308464/huntly-bypass-steel-details-kept-secret

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.2

          One thing I do know for certain as personally told to me by an insider: substandard steel was known to be an issue by a particular NZ importer for many years. The Chinese supplier response was that if they didn’t keep quiet about it, they would open a parallel importer and undercut them out of business.

          Another insider snippet from senior KiwiRail engineers: the Minister intervened numerous times in various major purchase tenders, always in favour of a Chinese supplier. Never directly and always deniable, but the political inference was always plain enough.

          An inquiry would be interesting.

          The core problem here is that in many ways what is tolerated commercial practise in China, is dodgy corruption here. When Labour set up the Chinese FTA they were deeply remiss in failing to explicitly address this. It’s not hard to set up strong ethical trading and commercial standards; many global corporates are onto this these days, some quite impressively so.

          In fact its arguable China itself is nowadays more proactive in stamping out corruption than we are.

          • Pomohaka 5.1.1.2.1

            This is interesting:

            ‘Another insider snippet from senior KiwiRail engineers: the Minister intervened numerous times in various major purchase tenders, always in favour of a Chinese supplier. Never directly and always deniable, but the political inference was always plain enough.

            An inquiry would be interesting.’

            Agreed

        • Darth smith 5.1.1.3

          Good questions national will not want.to answer

      • Pomohaka 5.1.2

        Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry sounds like a cover in order for something to remain hidden.

        • Zorb6 5.1.2.1

          That particular entity has enjoyed great success in NZ and Australian Racing.Star performer is Mongolian Khan a multiple stakes winner who won the NZ Derby and last years Caulfield Cup.

      • mac1 5.1.3

        https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/18/48616/expert-calls-for-inquiry-into-chinese-threat

        Canterbury Uni academic Professor Brady raises questions.

        With regard to the $150,000 donation from the ‘Inner Mongolia Horse Riders’ see the link below. 1200 horses went to China, so the Inner Mongolia name is a little confusing as to the nations involved.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11865136

        • Tony Veitch (not etc) 5.1.3.1

          No confusion – Inner Mongolia is a ‘province’ of China and is peopled by an oppressed ‘minority’ of Mongolians, just like Tibetans in Tibet and Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

          And we trade with these buggers!

  6. mary_a 6

    And why isn’t msm chasing this one like the bloodthirsty rabid pack it was with Metiria Turei? After all the Yang case is likely to be more of a threat to NZ, than Metiria’s situation could ever have been!

    But then, what chance has a poor struggling Maori mother got in comparison to a former high ranking official member of the Chinese government, teaching spies in China, now a National MP? Both were dishonest, one to survive, while the other (Yang) for whatever reason known only to him and his masters in China, to gain entry into NZ.

    She’s gone, hounded out of politics. While he’s still there, protected by National! Selective justice I’d call it!

    We need some answers to what Yang’s game play was/is. Why is his case is being ignored, when he mislead authorities?

    • Carolyn_nth 6.1

      This:

      But then, what chance has a poor struggling Maori mother got in comparison to a former high ranking official member of the Chinese government, teaching spies in China, now a National MP? Both were dishonest, one to survive, while the other (Yang) for whatever reason known only to him and his masters in China, to gain entry into NZ.

      And good on Matt Nippert for staying on the case.

      • simonm 6.1.1

        Agreed. Matt Nippert is NZ’s best (only?) MSM investigative journalist right now IMHO. He’d better watch it though. If he keeps this up Matthew Hooton will be slipping his home address to Cathy Odgers.

  7. Shona 7

    Yang needs to have his visa cancelled and his residence/ citizenship revoked and job as an MP removed. No ifs no buts no maybes. This stinks he lied he is untrustworthy and a spy and we do not need him or any more effing blue dragons. Throw the lying snooping duplicitous creep out of our country. Now.

  8. stunned mullet 8

    Good grief what a vile load of dog whistling, by the commenters, certainly it’s worthy of vintage Donal Trump.

    Perhaps MS should’ve quoted more completely from the guardian article..

    ‘In his six years as an MP for New Zealand’s ruling National party, Yang has been a vocal supporter of China’s Communist party.

    In his Mandarin-peppered maiden speech he recalled how his family had suffered under Mao Zedong’s tumultuous reign, which ended with his death at the end of the Cultural Revolution, in 1976.

    “By the year of my birth, in 1962, China had wiped out private ownership … a horrific famine had just passed with the deaths of millions of people … by 1978 the Chinese economy was on the verge of collapse.”

    However, the naturalised MP also heaped praise on the “awe-inspiring” changes China had witnessed after Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms of the late 1970s and 1980s. “We are all aware of China’s enormous economic growth … China has risen to become the second largest economy in the world. The Chinese government has successfully lifted millions of people out of poverty.”

    Despite this, Yang said many Chinese were choosing to move to New Zealand thanks to its “second-to-none environment, democratic political system, equal economic opportunities and stable society”.’

    To suggest that Yang is a Chinese spy when there is no evidence of any spying and he has been investigated by the SIS and not removed from his position in parliament is at best scurrilous.

    • Carolyn_nth 8.1

      Sorry? What?

      So Yang is full of praise for the current China ruling regime publicly, while being an MP in NZ. And yet, he moved here because…. all good in NZ…. and that’s evidence he’s not working in support of the Chinese government?

    • Nick 8.2

      Unfortunately a fair number of NZ politicians are owned and operated by offshore power and money players, so it’s not an unreasonable theory to have a spy (eg Yang) placed in Govt. This guy lied (as he was instructed) about his training and education credentials. The Sis credibility? ShonKey had a lot of power over them, so any assessment was going to be dismissed (and it was). The truth is… He lied.

    • Gristle 8.3

      There are a number of arguments that are being conflated.

      Firstly, the accuracy of Yang’s statements in his application for residency visa show a degree of flexibility that borders on being duplicitous. The first question is if Yang was to have included more accurate information on this application, then would he have been provided that visa? If the answer to this is no, then the subsequent basis for the citizenship being awarded is flawed. The second question is then, should his current NZ citizenship be annulled?

      Secondly, Yang has been the subject of NZ’s intelligence organisations investigation. Bill English needs to think really hard about whether he can improve upon his statement that he can not remember why Yang was removed from the Foriegn Affairs, Defece and Trade Select Committee. If he is not suitable to be on this body due to Intelligence concerns then this leads to the third question of is Yang suitable to be an MP?

      Thirdly, reputedly he is the bagman for donations to the National Party for money originating from Chinese interests. This raise a question about the need to reform electoral law pertaining to donations that it is obvious who donates what to political parties, and that those donations are solely originating from NZ based people. Is this another instance of dollars for votes being considered more important than people for votes?

      Fourthly, the definition of what constitutes spying proposed here appears naive. The act of getting to become an MP, and on an important select committee, and being a prime route for party funding is in my opinion consistent with what a spy would do if tasked to extend another country’s interests and influence. Of course it not to say that Yang is a spy for China.

      • RedLogix 8.3.2

        I don’t usually indulge in +1’s, but that is an excellent precis of the issue Gristle.

        Oddly enough while the Australian Senate is absurdly disqualifying Members because their parents were New Zealanders, we seem to have erred completely on the other direction … displaying a quite ingenuous naivety around citizenship and divided loyalties.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4

      Stunned Mullet, when he left China, Yang was ordered to give incomplete information. An order he obeyed.

      That raises legitimate questions about where his loyalties lie. Has he, for example, signed some version of an official secrets act? Is he bound by any other restrictions that might affect his duties as an MP?

      Are we allowed to discuss “soft power” without accusations of racism? Do you have some interest in shutting that discussion down?

    • To suggest that Yang is a Chinese spy when there is no evidence of any spying and he has been investigated by the SIS and not removed from his position in parliament is at best scurrilous.

      Well, I guess. On the other hand, a guy who trained spies for a totalitarian regime, lied about it on his citizenship application on the regime’s instructions and spends a significant part of his maiden speech in Parliament praising that regime and dedicating himself to fostering a better relationship with it – well, that guy should raise suspicions, regardless of where he comes from.

    • mickysavage 8.6

      Read it again. I said he was a supporter of the communist party because he said that himself.

      He was removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Ask English why.

      And quote me where I said he was a spy.

    • Pete 8.7

      Good grief he didn’t come her and make a big public announcement, hand out a press release and hold up a big signing saying “I AM A SPY.”

      That proves he’s not a spy because when spies go into some country or go to be some sort of a sleeper for some regime they always do those PR things that Yang didn’t.

      • greywarshark 8.7.1

        I don’t think that Immigration should employ you pete when next they are looking for staff.

    • Anne 8.8

      To suggest that Yang is a Chinese spy when there is no evidence of any spying and he has been investigated by the SIS and not removed from his position in parliament is at best scurrilous.

      Let’s pick that sentence to bits.
      1) there is no evidence of any spying…
      Well of course there isn’t. If there was, he would be a terrible spy – akin to Johnny English aka Rowan Atkinson.
      2) he has been investigated by the SIS.
      Well, of course he has. They wouldn’t be doing their job if they hadn’t.
      3) he’s not been removed from his position in parliament
      Now that’s the $64,000 dollar question isn’t it. Why? Given the very questionable background that has already been uncovered. I’d say its the money. Lots and lots and lots of it. Enough to keep the Nats in clover for decades.

      Perhaps the new government will launch an Inquiry.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.8.1

        Why?

        Because he’s been elected and his removal would disenfranchise his supporters? Because he hasn’t been convicted of anything? Because investigative reporters are not the courts and readers are not juries?

        Because this is a job for the Police/SIS, not the government?

        • Anne 8.8.1.1

          Because this is a job for the Police/SIS, not the government?

          Some governments are known to interfere with “operational matters” particularly if an off-shore agency requests them to do so. We have a very good recent example – Kim Dotcom. The FBI demanded requested there be a full and thorough investigation into Dotcom and the Key government acquiesced albeit using an under the radar method of persuasion.

          If there is grounds to suspect a previous government knowingly enabled a foreigner with a suspect intelligence back-ground to enter our parliament and serve on the highly sensitive Foreign Affairs/Defence select committee, then the incoming government would have every right to launch an investigation into how it happened.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.8.1.1.1

            Sure they do, just that isn’t what you proposed. You proposed that he be removed from Parliament on the basis of suspicion.

            • Anne 8.8.1.1.1.1

              Nope. I challenged s.mullett’s (imo) inferred contention that Jian Yang is an innocent abroad…

              What I did propose was that the new govt. launch an Inquiry. Any outcome would be based on the findings.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                3) he’s not been removed from his position in parliament
                Now that’s the $64,000 dollar question isn’t it. Why?

                QED.

                • Anne

                  My “Why” response to mullet’s comment is based on the question marks surrounding Yang’s position. He should have been asked by the previous govt. to stand aside from parliamentary activity until a public inquiry was complete. It didn’t happen and its my view it was “all about the money”.

                  The wealthy end of the Chinese community have been donating very large sums to the National Party – money that was premised on the previous govt. looking after their interests. Yang’s presence is/was, imo, likely to have been a part of those interests.

    • Venezia 8.9

      Ummm.. Yang was removed from The Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. Why?

  9. Ross 9

    Yang said he had served as a civilian officer in the [People’s Liberation Army] and was required … not to name the institutions as a condition of being allowed to leave China.

    Has he got any evidence to support this claim? If he doesn’t I’d treat it with a pinch of salt. It’s very easy to say he was told not name the institutions he worked for, just as it’s easy to say this is a smear, which he did say, only for us to learn that he did train spies. He needs to front up with the evidence, so what he says can be verified.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      I think it’s quite damning. “I was ordered to lie, as was the usual practice, and that’s why I lied”.

      Was he given any other orders that we haven’t been told about? Has the National Party told him about personal responsibility yet?

    • greywarshark 9.2

      Ross
      Thanks for your clear critique of info about and unknown re Mr Yang.
      There used to be someone who commented under the name of the voice of reason, but I think has changed that. If you can go on commenting like you are at 5/11 2.23pm we will have reasoning, useful thoughts to chew on, which might limit the flights of rhetoric that sometimes gather, like a flock of sparrows.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    And the New York Times adds some further interesting information.
    I wonder how many former Chinese military & police officers are now living in New Zealand and what did they say on their visa applications and why are they protecting some one else’s head of state?

    “Chinese-language news media outlets in New Zealand reported that Mr. Yang had presented awards in April to members of the New Zealand Veterans General Federation, a group made up of former Chinese military or police officers now living in New Zealand. The awards were reportedly for members’ activities during a visit to New Zealand by Premier Li Keqiang of China, when they blocked the banners of anti-Chinese government protesters and sang military songs.”

    “Chen Weijian, a member of the pro-democracy group New Zealand Values Alliance and the editor of a Chinese-language magazine, Beijing Spring, said Mr. Yang was “very, very active” in New Zealand’s Chinese community.

    “When he speaks, he speaks more as a Chinese government representative, instead of a New Zealand lawmaker,” Mr. Chen said.”

  11. simonm 11

    From the Immigration NZ link in the article:

    Penalties-
    ‘Those found guilty of immigration fraud can be imprisoned for up to 7 years and/or fined up to NZ $100,000.”

    ‘People who use immigration fraud to become New Zealand residents can be deported.’

    ‘People who use immigration fraud to become New Zealand citizens can lose their citizenship.’

    All of the above sound pretty serious to me. No worries for Yang though – National Party and/or Chinese Communist Party spies seem to be exempt from any punishment.

    • JC 11.1

      And that Thiel character …

      • simonm 11.1.1

        I agree we don’t need Thiel. There’s no evidence he lied on his citizenship application like Yang did though. He was straight-up that he never intended to live here.

  12. Skinny 12

    Not much balance in this story you fail to mention the broad strategy being employed by China. Both main political parties are taking the loot on offer as did the Auckland mayor.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      I agree, and that doesn’t answer why Yang was removed from the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee. Nor why he felt the need to obey the order to conceal his past.

      Do you feel these are legitimate questions? Why wouldn’t they be asked of anyone else in a similar position?

  13. D'Esterre 13

    If a NZ citizen who’d worked for the SIS or the GCSB were to migrate to another country, I’m guessing that individual would be ordered not to disclose the fact of their having worked for the security services here. For all I know, it may even be a requirement if operatives move to other employment here in NZ. It wouldn’t surprise me, were that so.

    • RJL 13.1

      @ D’Esterre If a NZ citizen who’d worked for the SIS or the GCSB were to migrate to another country, I’m guessing that individual would be ordered not to disclose the fact of their having worked for the security services here.

      Perhaps, but do you think that (once this other country found out) they would be happy with an ex-GCSB officer being a member their government? Especially when it is never possible to be sure how “ex” that status is… and continuing to follow the orders of a foreign, semi-adversarial, authoritarian regime doesn’t seem very “ex”.

      Would China be happy with “ex-“GCSB or “ex-“SIS or “ex-“CIA officers secretly becoming members of the National People’s Congress?

      • D'Esterre 13.1.1

        RJL: “do you think that (once this other country found out) they would be happy with an ex-GCSB officer being a member their government?”
        A separate issue, I’d have thought.

    • If a NZ citizen who’d worked for the GCSB followed an order not to mention it when they emigrated to another country, and they gained political office in that country, and NZ had a reputation of having operatives organise sympathetic emigrants to influence other countries, and journalists in that other country found out their new supposedly-ex NZ spy MP had lied on their immigration application, it certainly would surprise me if everyone shrugged their shoulders and said “Well, there’s no proof.”

    • Ross 13.3

      D’Esterre,

      If Cheryl Gwynn or Ian Fletcher applied for jobs, it would be rather silly of them to try to hide the fact that they’ve been employed as spycatchers. Besides, if you’ve worked for several years at the GCSB os SIS, your CV might look a little odd with a large gap in it. Indeed it would likely pique the interest of a prospective employer and they’d possibly want to do some digging to see if you’ve told the truth.

      It might suprise you but the SIS publicly advertises for security intelligence roles. They even publicise what salary they get paid. How transparent is that!

      https://www.seek.co.nz/job/34742398

      • D'Esterre 13.3.1

        Ross: “If Cheryl Gwynn or Ian Fletcher applied for jobs, it would be rather silly of them to try to hide the fact that they’ve been employed as spycatchers.”
        They’re not operatives, are they?
        The point is that what China’s required of Yang Jian is probably not exceptional. Whether it’s exceptionable depends upon one’s point of view, I guess.
        “…if you’ve worked for several years at the GCSB os SIS, your CV might look a little odd with a large gap in it.”
        Do you really think that CVs tell the full story of employment history? Remember the noble art of massage. To coin a phrase…
        “It might suprise you but the SIS publicly advertises for security intelligence roles. ”
        Heh! It might surprise you to learn that I know all about this.
        As above: I’m not defending Yang Jian’s position as an MP, or the extent to which the Chinese government required him to dissemble.

        • simonm 13.3.1.1

          Nobody’s talking about CV’s here. They’re not legal documents. A citizenship application certainly is though. The requirement to be 100% truthful when completing them or face deportation is spelled out in black and white to all applicants.

  14. Bob 14

    This is a great example of Doible Standards by the Gnats, just last night on the news, a couple in Nelson, a Kiwi man married 2 years ago to a Phillipino woman both aged over 75, they met when she visited her child studying in NZ.
    INZ says she lied about an apparent identity fraud that occurred after her passport was stolen and used by crooks.
    She didn’t disclose this as it was dismissed by the Phillipines authorities.
    She is being threatened with a Visa cancellation, according to the spokesperson from INZ.
    Shouldn’t the same apply to Jian Yang as he failed to disclose accurate information.
    Thoughts anyone?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      The Nats and INZ are not the same people. If there’s a double standard that’s on INZ.

      Even if the Nats pressured them, the appropriate response was to resist and possibly report the pressure to the appropriate authorities.

      • Psycho Milt 14.1.1

        I noted in the TV news report on this last night (can’t remember which channel), the INZ spokesman said the department has no leeway in the matter – if someone is revealed to have lied on their application form, the department has no alternative but to seek deportation. And yet, it hasn’t sought deportation for Jian Yang so clearly there is leeway. Politicisation of the public service under National is the most likely explanation for the discrepancy.

  15. Philg 15

    Can Mr Yang become our first Chinese PM?

    • simonm 15.1

      With some help from the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘United Front Work Department’ and a few more generous donations to the National Party from shady Chinese businessmen, it’s definitely not outside the realms of possibility.

  16. Angel Fish 16

    Regarding spies, what about the mass surveillance that the government is carrying out thanks to National. I’ve not heard anything from Labour or Green about no longer subjecting citizens to that humiliation!

    If only there was a properly conservative party to choose from.
    The National party is in actuality the ANTI national party.
    Selling off national assets, getting in bed with a foreign super power(US and China), not doing anything to reduce immigration and carrying out mass surveillance on citizens!

    • Ed 16.1

      Spot on.
      National are globalists.

      • RedLogix 16.1.1

        Wrong word. The very last thing they want is any form of global governance, regulation or constraint over their looting. They may operate in a global space, but they absolutely want it to retain that right for themselves.

        God forbid the ordinary people should demand democratic accountability over the tax havens and corporate tax theft proliferating beyond the reach of the nation states. And never will we be permitted to insist that minimum labour, environmental, and social standards should be normalised across all trading nations.

        Oh no .. that would definitely put a dampener on their monstrous wealth accumulation.

        (Remember the Donald Duck character Uncle Scrooge, leaping and diving about his own immense vault of gold? As a child I imagined it to be silly exaggeration, but now its pretty much a reality. The uber-wealthy really have stolen from almost all of us and hoard it like Scrooge.)

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