A National MP who was educated at a Chinese spy school has labelled revelations of his background a smear campaign by others.
Today Newsroom reported list MP Jian Yang did not mention in his work or political CVs the 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.
It has been reported that to have been taught at the air force college, Dr 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.
In a statement, Dr Yang refutes any allegations questioning his loyalty to New Zealand and maintains he has been upfront about his education and employment.
“Although I was not born here, I am proud to call myself a New Zealander, obey our laws and contribute to this country. I challenge those who are propagating these defamatory statements to front up and prove them.
“This is a smear campaign by nameless people who are out to damage me and the National Party ten days from an election, just because I am Chinese.”
Newsroom reported that the Security Intelligence Service had scrutinised Dr Yang at times over three years, including interviewing one person about him last year. The agency says it would not comment on operational matters, especially investigations involving individuals.
The National Party website does mention other aspects of Dr Yang's education including that he received an MA and PhD in International Relations at the Australian National University (ANU). Dr Yang came to the University of Auckland in March 1999 where he held positions including senior lecturer of international relations and associate dean (postgraduate) of the faculty of arts.
He is currently a parliamentary private secretary for ethnic communities, chair of the education and science select committee and a member of the transport and industrial relations select committee.