It is alleged that Jian Yang was investigated by New Zealand’s intelligence services for his links to Chinese military academies, but the 55-year-old claims he has been racially targeted.
The Chinese-born Yang is an MP for New Zealand’s ruling centre-right National party – and condemned what he labelled “defamatory statements”.
“This is a smear campaign by nameless people who are out to damage me and the National Party 10 days from an election, just because I am Chinese,” he said.
The allegations come after an investigation by the Financial Times and New Zealand’s Newsroom, who Yang was investigated for the decade he spent in China, where he trained at so-callled ‘spy schools’.
Elected in 2001, he apparently did not disclose his work as a teacher at China’s top linguistics academy for military intelligence officers.
“He has functioned appropriately as a member of parliament and there hasn’t been a question about his loyalty to New Zealand,” said Prime Minister Bill English.
New Zealand will hold general election on 23 September.