NZ under China’s influence: Peters

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is calling for an urgent inquiry into National Party list MP Jian Yang’s involvement with Chinese spy agencies.

Speaking in Dunedin yesterday, Mr Peters told about 260 people New Zealand had been caught out and exposed to being a pawn of the Communists in China.

"The influence of the Government of China is real within the New Zealand Government. This is not a spy thriller from the airport bookshelves," he said to loud applause.

New Zealand became vulnerable the moment National recruited Dr Yang, Mr Peters said.

His decade of work with Chinese military intelligence had only now been opened up, but not yet laid bare.

A joint investigation by Newsroom and Hong Kong’s Financial Times claimed New Zealand’s Security agencies had investigated the Chinese-born MP, who studied at government-connected institutes, including China’s top linguistics academy for spies, before he moved to New Zealand.

Mr Peters said Dr Yang had tried to quell the outrage by saying he had been transparent.

However, his CV had 10 years missing which was the time he spent with  Chinese intelligence, and not as an English teacher.

"Was he the only English teacher they could find?"

Dr Yang’s hands were all over New Zealand’s contact with foreign policy decision-making. He sat on the influential Parliamentary Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee. That made his background working with China’s military intelligence for a decade seriously significant.

Mr Peters claimed a Chinese informant, someone he trusted, alerted him to Dr Yang’s past in 2011 but could not provide the evidence.

He released copies of Hansard to prove he had raised the matters on April 5 which Prime Minister Bill English dismissed.

The audience was supportive of Mr Peters’ call for an immediate inquiry.

The Communist takeover of New Zealand was near complete, he said. The Chinese had full control over New Zealand’s most valuable value-added product of infant formula and had got control in five years, with the help of the National-led Government.

The Chinese had taken control of Dunedin meat processor Silver Fern Farms.

"I am not scaremongering. This is a fact and National won’t have a register of who owns land in New Zealand. They don’t want to know."

A report from China news agency Xinhua on March 28 proved Dr Yang and National Party president Peter Goodfellow were "donkey deep" in an initiative to set up a high-level Chinese business network - started by Chinese milk company Yashili.

Dr Yang was a big-time fundraiser for National and he was central in National’s close links to China, Mr Peters said. He had compiled the nest egg of  Chinese money for the election which was probably why the polls showed Chinese in New Zealand overwhelmingly voted National.

"It’s not that interest we are questioning but his influence on National and National’s policy."

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