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New Zealand PM sticks up for MP accused of being a spy

A New Zealand MP has been forced into denying allegations of being a Chinese spy.



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.