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Simon Bridges went to China

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, January 8th, 2020 - 44 comments
Categories: China, election 2017, immigration, International, national, same old national - Tags:

Simon Bridges’ trip to China last year has attracted more attention with recent news that MFAT was not consulted on the trip and of even greater concern that the trip was organised by National MP Jian Yang.  

When I look through past posts I see that Yang has featured in a number of them.  News broke during the 2017 election campaign that he taught in a Chinese University that concentrated on training Chinese spies and that he was investigated by the SIS for his Chinese Government links.  He has admitted that he did teach English to students in China so they could monitor communications and collect information.

His background was not mentioned in his residence application. 

Matt Nippert obtained his application for residency and reported this:

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.

Yang wanted to help with SIS recruitment and lobbied ministers in a bid to overturn a national security block on a China-born job applicant taking up a sensitive position in the defence force.    He was for a while a member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee.  There are major issues in relation to both his application for residency and his involvement in New Zealand’s government.

But National has been strong supporters of Yang which is not surprising given that they think two Chinese MPs are more valuable than two Indian MPs.  And what has happened to the Serious Fraud investigation into the partitioning of a $100,000 donation to hide its source?

So there is some explaining for National to do with recent revelations that Yang organised Bridges trip last year and that MFAT offered to assist but this offer was not accepted.  From Harrison Christian in Stuff:

Simon Bridges’ controversial China visit was organised by Jian Yang, the National MP who admitted to training Chinese spies, official emails show. 

Bridges was criticised for praising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in an interview on Chinese state television during the five-day trip in September.

He also came under scrutiny for meeting the person in charge of the country’s secret police, at a time when the CCP was detaining more than a million Uighur Muslims

Yang’s status and seniority in Chinese circles is evident.  Bridges met with Guo Shengkun, head of China’s secret police.

Helen Clark has raised questions about the lack of MFAT involvement in the trip.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.  And what happens to the Serious Fraud Office investigation.

 

44 comments on “Simon Bridges went to China ”

  1. Wayne 1

    Shock, horror! A National MP helps another National MP with an overseas trip. What on earth is the world coming to?

    • RedLogix 1.1

      errr … Wayne. I love you man, but that's disingenuous to the point of hilarity.

    • Ad 1.2

      Are there other trips to China by National that excluded MFAT?

      What security and diplomatic risks do you see that carrying?

    • Sabine 1.3

      any comment on the comment of the former Prime Minister Helen Clark?

      • Cinny 1.3.1

        I've a comment…… the silence from simon after been called out by Aunty Helen is deafening.

        • Incognito 1.3.1.1

          It will be along the lines of being ‘pretty legal’ or something rather. Anyway, it was just a road trip with some buddies visiting some buddies, just as Judith Collins did.

    • mickysavage 1.4

      A National MP who was formerly a teacher of Chinese spies and omitted to put this in his application for residence and managed to organise a meeting with a senior Chinese Communist Party official who is the head of the Chinese secret police. That is one capable MP!

      • pat 1.4.1

        but capable for whom?

        • AB 1.4.1.1

          Surely the Chinese wouldn't be this blatant in the deployment of their intelligence assets? Unless they thought they were dealing with clueless yokels – which admittedly would be objectively true in this case. I imagine it's just the soft-power influence that works so well in nominal democracies corrupted by donor money.

    • Gabby 1.5

      A Chinese agent just doin his recruitin wayknee. No worries, wee gotta sell ouselves to someone don't we.

    • Sabine 2.1

      oh poor misunderstood Bridges.

      How dare we believe that he might be up to no good.

      .

    • RedLogix 2.2

      This is good. If Guo Shengkun is not Secret Police there should be no objection to releasing full MFAT transcripts of what was discussed. Bridges doesn't seem to put much value the privacy of other confidential documents so I'd imagine he'd been keen to clear the air on this one too.

      • Sacha 2.2.1

        Are there any MFAT transcripts? I understood that was one of the main problems with this trip.

        • RedLogix 2.2.1.1

          I'm sure Wayne can tell us what is best practice in these cases. devil

          • Sacha 2.2.1.1.1

            Doubt we need to wait.

      • You_Fool 2.2.2

        He is only their justice and law and order spokesperson… definitely not head of secret police, that is the spokesperson for justice and law and order… different guy, you can tell… he has the black gloves…

  2. pat 3

    Would an electorate support Jian Yang into Parliament if he were not a list MP?

  3. Wayne 4

    The fact that Dr Yang taught in a national security University is old news. There is nothing to suggest anything untoward here. Truly a non story.

    • Sabine 4.1

      would you mind commenting on that comment of the previous Prime Minister of NZ and tell us why dear Simon did not go through the same channels?

      You are right, this would be a non story had dear Simon done what all others do, namely organise this trip through official channels and not this hush hush trip;

    • RedLogix 4.2

      I very much hope it is a non-story Wayne. But it just doesn’t look like one … not to a lot of people.

      If a Labour MP … for instance … was to do anything similar, I think you too would be seeking some reliable reassurances nothing 'untoward' was going on.

    • Peter 4.3

      Do you think there is as much untoward in the Yang story as in numerous stories which come up regularly about members of the Government which get currency and are spewed out and repeated to breed suspicion and distrust?

    • gsays 4.4

      Heh.

    • Blazer 4.5

      Does Dr Yang still refuse to talk to European journalists?

      Or is that old..news…too?

      • Sacha 4.5.1

        By 'European', we should clarify that you mean non-Chinese NZ media. Not French or German outlets, for instance. And funnily enough NZ media barely noted it.

    • Blazer 4.6

      the fact that he falsified his PR application because he was 'told to'…is not important ..either…is it?

  4. sumsuch 5

    Money from China or Chinese from there wouldn't surprise me about Bridges but it would be disproving. However, from the reveals, he's already proved a bit of a tit.

  5. Sacha 6

    Hmmm, who to believe: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/118639454/helen-clark-questions-national-mp-jian-yang-planning-simon-bridges-china-trip

    In response to questions on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Bridges said MFAT was "heavily involved in organising the China trip from start to finish".

    "Its officials attended and participated in all meetings," the [Nat] spokesperson said.

    Asked on Tuesday if it was unusual for Yang to organise the trip, an MFAT spokesperson said the ministry had "provided support for elements" of the visit.

    Emails between MFAT staff in August said Bridges' office had "made clear" Yang was organising the trip and "they had no expectation that MFAT would be doing so".

    The programme was forwarded to [NZ Consul-General, Andrew] Robinson and another MFAT official based in Beijing a week before Bridges arrived in China.

  6. Incognito 7

    Concerns raised over National's China trip planning

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12299215

    Preferring doing business party-to-party to ministry-to-ministry is yet another sign of the increasing influence of political parties in national affairs. I would go as far as to say that party politics dominate national politics and negatively influence the democratic process because it removes another increasingly thin layer of public oversight and accountability.

    • Sacha 7.1

      Ah. More details in that story:

      The documents show Mfat officials were present when Bridges met with high-ranking Politburo member Guo Shengkun.

      A draft recounting of the meeting by an Mfat staffer who was present shows that Guo raised "strong party-to-party" relations during the meeting, among other issues such as trade ties and China's foreign policy.

      An email exchange in files shows officials tried three times to offer support to National before the party's foreign affairs spokesman, Brownlee, stepped in and gave Mfat approval to help co-organise the trip, just over a week out from the departure date.

      Mfat staff then became involved in co-ordinating the logistics, although much of the schedule appears to already be largely unchanged.

      • Incognito 7.1.1

        Mfat staff then became involved in co-ordinating the logistics …

        That’s a euphemism for saying they organised drop-off and pick-up at the airport, in NZ.

        A spokesman for National confirmed funding for the trip had come out of a Parliamentary budget for trips by the Leader of the Opposition.

        In other words, courtesy of the NZ Taxpayers.

  7. JustMe 8

    I must say in the above photo Simon Bridges and the way he is sitting looks very much he is a puppet on a string.

    But we all know who is pulling those 'strings' and it sure as Hell IS NOT Simon Bridges.

    With the affect of sounding like I am repeating myself but of late Simon Bridges has claimed a National government(with now confirmed in allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party thanks to one of the National MPs that organised the 'money making racket')will have zero tolerance of gangs seems to indicate to me Simon Bridges will have zero tolerance of home grown NZ gangs but 100% turning a blind eye to the overseas gangs eg the Triads; that are now well established here in New Zealand.. Perhaps because a number of those in Triads and established drug cartels have donated heavily to the NZ National Party in return for say Instant Kiwi citizenship and drug importation and money laundering.

    And so if Simon Bridges wants to come down hard on gangs then he better clarify as to which gangs. To say, for example, that the Triads and other overseas but now established here in NZ gangs are too big to contend with then he is being and behaving like a hypocrite.

    Still I am sure we all know at no time in their existence has National or a National government ever been looking into the best interests of low income NZers. Nope we can all be assured a National government has always been in the best interest of those who have money and donate heavily to the NZ National Party.

    .

    • Sacha 8.1

      Perhaps because a number of those in Triads and established drug cartels have donated heavily to the NZ National Party in return for say Instant Kiwi citizenship and drug importation and money laundering.

      That's quite a claim. Got any evidence?

    • You_Fool 8.2

      If anyone in National say "gangs" they mean brown people.. nothing more nothing less….

  8. georgecom 9

    If the National Party and Simon Bridges were open and transparent about donations/funding from Chinese individuals I would not be so disturbed by these news stories. Given the lengths it seems that Bridges & National go to mask such donations/funding however, such a trip and the way it was organised does raise real concerns. Everything may be absolutely innocent but questions about $$$ for influence come to mind.

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