A near-complete cone of silence

I’d been planning to write a post today about the near-complete cone of silence that seems to have descended over elite New Zealand around the Jian Yang scandal.   That a former member of the Chinese intelligence service, former (perhaps present, if passive) member of the Chinese Communist Party, still in the very good graces of the Chinese authorities –  never, for example, having denounced the oppressive expansionist regime he served –  sits in New Zealand’s Parliament, nominated to again win a seat in Parliament on Saturday, is both astonishing –  at least to those like me who haven’t been close observers of such things –  and reprehensible.   That it seems not to bother anyone in, or close to, power (at least enough to do or say anything) is perhaps even more alarming.  There was a wave of stories in the first 24 hours after the Financial Times/Newsroom stories broke, and then……well, almost nothing.

There has been a lame excuse offered up:  Jane Bowron in the Dominion-Post noted that it was election time and there is lots else to write about.  And actually I more or less buy the line that there aren’t the journalistic resources to do much new digging right now.  But (a) it is election week, when we make choices about the sort of people and parties we want governing us, and (b) how hard can it be to ask, and keep on asking, political leaders of whatever stripe about this story, on the basis of what has already been published, and on what Yang has already acknowledged (years later)?     Report, again and again if necessary, that a key political figure refused to comment, but don’t simply ignore the story.

But then Newsroom this morning had another important story, putting the Yang story in the much wider context of the systematic efforts of the Chinese authorities (state and party), and drawing on a new paper by University of Canterbury politics professor, and expert on China and its ambitions, Anne-Marie Brady.   Her paper Magic Weapons: China’s political influence activities under Xi Jinping  was presented at a conference in the United States a few days ago: the conference title “The corrosion of democracy under China’s global influence”.    What makes it so compelling is that it is a detailed case study of China’s efforts in New Zealand.  It isn’t heavy analysis, but simply nugget after nugget that builds a deeply disquieting picture, and perhaps makes disturbing sense of the cone of silence around Jian Yang.   Every thinking New Zealand should read Brady’s paper.

As she notes early in the paper

New Zealand’s relationship with China is of interest, because the Chinese government regards New Zealand as an exemplar of how it would like its relations to be with other states. In 2013, China’s New Zealand ambassador described the two countries’ relationship as “a model to other Western countries”.

With, one hopes, a degree of hyperbole, she goes on to note (quoting an anonymous source)

And after Premier Li Keqiang visited New Zealand in 2017, a Chinese diplomat favourably compared New Zealand-China relations to the level of closeness China had with Albania in the early 1960s.

She goes on to outline the huge effort China puts in to attempting to manage the Chinese diaspora, whether in New Zealand or other countries.

After more than 30 years of this work, there are few overseas Chinese associations able to completely evade “guidance”—other than those affiliated with the religious group Falungong, Taiwan independence, pro-independence Tibetans and Uighurs, independent Chinese religious groups outside party-state controlled religions, and the democracy movement—and even these are subject to being infiltrated by informers and a target for united front work.

She records that these efforts have greatly intensified under Xi Jinping – as internal repression in China has as well.

Even more than his predecessors, Xi Jinping has led a massive expansion of efforts to shape foreign public opinion in order to influence the decision-making of foreign governments and societies

This includes seeking, largely successfully, to gain effective control over Chinese-language media (with exceptions as above) and encouraging political involvement of overseas Chinese.

This policy encourages overseas Chinese who are acceptable to the PRC government to become involved in politics in their host countries as candidates who, if elected, will be able to act to promote China’s interests abroad; and encourages China’s allies to build relations with non-Chinese pro-CCP government foreign political figures, to offer donations to foreign political parties, and to mobilize public opinion via Chinese language social media; so as to promote the PRC’s economic and political agenda abroad.42 Of course it is completely normal and to be encouraged that the ethnic Chinese communities in each country seek political representation; however this initiative is separate from that spontaneous and natural development.

And neutralising, or even coopting,  members of local media and academe.

Coopt foreign academics, entrepreneurs, and politicians to promote China’s perspective in the media and academia. Build up positive relations with susceptible individuals via shows of generous political hospitality in China. The explosion in numbers of all-expenses-paid quasi-scholarly and quasi-official conferences in China (and some which are held overseas) is a notable feature of the Xi era, on an unprecedented scale.

As she notes, New Zealand hasn’t been immune to that strand of influence.   In part we do it to ourselves –  there are, for example, the New Zealand government sponsored New Zealand China Council media awards.  Or sponsored trips for selected journalists to China, paid for the New Zealand China Friendship Society (didn’t the Soviets used to sponsor such bodies?).    It becomes harder to ask awkward questions when awards and sponsored travel opportunities might depend on not doing so.   I don’t suppose the New Zealand China Council  –  chaired by Don McKinnon, including the chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – would be at all pleased by open scrutiny and debate about Jian Yang’s background, his ongoing relationship with the Chinese authorities, and his presence in our Parliament.   It might –  no doubt would –  upset China, not a country known for its tolerance of robust scrutiny and challenge.  These days, one has to wonder whether we still are, at least when it comes to China.

One of the most interesting bits of the paper is Brady’s discussion of why New Zealand interests China.    Here is some of her text

But New Zealand is of interest to China for a number of significant reasons. First of all, the New Zealand government is responsible for the defence and foreign affairs of three other territories in the South Pacific: the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau—which potentially means four votes for China at international organisations. New Zealand is a claimant state in Antarctica and one of the closest access points there; China has a long-term strategic agenda in Antarctica that will require the cooperation of established Antarctic states such as New Zealand. New Zealand has cheap arable land and a sparse population and China is seeking to access foreign arable land to improve its food safety.  ……

New Zealand is also a member of the UKUSA intelligence agreement, the Five Power Defense Arrangement, and the unofficial ABCA grouping of militaries, as well as a NATO partner state. Breaking New Zealand out of these military groupings and away from its traditional partners, or at the very least, getting New Zealand to agree to stop spying on China for the Five Eyes, would be a major coup for China’s strategic goal of becoming a global great power. New Zealand’s ever closer economic, political, and military relationship with China, is seen by Beijing as an exemplar to Australia, the small island nations in the South Pacific, as well as more broadly, other Western states.

Not all of it is wholly compelling –  Tokelau isn’t independent, and the Cooks and Niue aren’t members of many international organisations. But the overall story makes a lot of sense.   If you wonder about the Antarctic bit, Brady is an expert on China’s Antarctic policies and aspirations.

On the other hand, you have to wonder quite why New Zealand governments should pay so much court to China.  Exports from New Zealand firms to China account directly for only about 5 per cent of our GDP (exports from Canadian firms to the US are, by contrast, 23 per cent of Canada’s GDP). And many of those exports –  notably dairy products and lamb –  are for relatively homogeneous products that would end up sold elsewhere, perhaps at lower prices, if somehow China restricted the ability of New Zealand firms to export.    There is, of course, the Chinese student market –  almost half the total student visas issued last year were to Chinese students –  but, as is now well-recognised the export education industry is a pretty troubled and distorted one, often as much about immigration aspirations as about the quality of the education product on offer.   So university vice-chancellors, and their colleagues in lesser institutions, might have a strong private interest in not upsetting China but it isn’t obvious that the citizenry of New Zealand share that interest, when it comes to defending our values and our system.

Brady argues that the emphasis on the China relationship appears to have greatly intensified under the current government

the current prominence afforded the China relationship has accelerated dramatically under the government that won the election in 2008, the New Zealand National Party. The National Party government (2008-), follows two main principles on China: 1. The “no surprises” policy,72 which appears to mean avoiding the New Zealand government or its officials or anyone affiliated with government activities saying or doing anything that might offend the PRC government; and 2. a long-standing emphasis on “getting the political relationship right”, which under this National government has come to mean developing extensive and intimate political links with CCP local and national leaders and their representatives and affiliated actors in New Zealand.

She provides a concrete example of this desperate desire not to offend.

This cautiousness to not rock the boat over New Zealand-China relations lay behind New Zealand’s reluctance to join the USA and Australia to criticize China’s military base building activities in the South China Sea. Following massive pressure from Australia and the US, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (2008-2016) and other ministers made a series of muted remarks in 2015 and 2016, but it was far from what  New Zealand’s allies had hoped for, who have frequently accused the National government of being soft on China. The New Zealand National government’s reticence to speak out on this issue, despite the fact New Zealand has the fourth largest maritime territory in the world and relies on respect for international norms for the protection of its rights, is one telling example of the effectiveness of China’s soft power efforts in New Zealand in recent years.

Brady highlights concerns around a number of local Chinese politicians –  not just Yang, but also Labour’s Raymond Huo and former ACT MP (and until recently, deputy leader) Kenneth Wang.   You can read some of those concerns, and apparently serious questions, for yourself.

Through much of the rest of her article, Brady writes in some detail about the various webs of connection that help create an economic interest among many leading New Zealand figures in not rocking the boat.  As I’ve noted previously, the Chinese banks operating in New Zealand have four former senior National Party figures on their various boards (Jenny Shipley, Ruth Richardson, Don Brash and former minister Chirs Tremain).  Jenny Shipley served for a number of years on the main parent board of one of the Chinese banks (all effectively still controlled by the Party) and has a number of senior appointments on boards sponsored by the Chinese government.    Senior National figures are closely tied into companies exporting dairy products to China.

As Brady notes, for the time being the issue is mostly around National Party figures, but surely only because their party is currently in government.  It seems unlikely that the Chinese would not be similarly keen on aligning Labour figures should the government change here.   She repeats the story of the fundraising for Phil Goff’s mayoral campaign: at a charity auction in Auckland, a bidder from China paid $150000 for the Selected Works of Xi Jinping.

Brady concludes with a big picture

SELRES_424b093c-5aa4-4648-8116-11850f67a020New Zealand’s needs to face up to some of the political differences and challenges in the New Zealand-China relationship and to investigate the extent and impact of Chinese political influence activities on our democracy. This study is a preliminary one, highlighting representative concerns. New Zealand would be wise to follow Australia’s example and take seriously the issue of China’s big push to increase its political influence activities, whether it be through a Special Commission or a closeddoor investigation. It may be time to seek a re-adjustment in the relationship, one which ensures New Zealand’s interests are foremost. Like Australia, we may also need to pass new legislation which better reflects the heightened scale of foreign influence attempts in our times. New Zealand can find a way to better manage its economic and political relationship with China, and thereby, truly be an exemplar to other Western states in their relations with China.SELRES_424b093c-5aa4-4648-8116-11850f67a020

That rings true to me. But for now, my interest is in the specifics of the Yang case.   It is extraordinary that a man with such a past –  and no interest in denouncing the tyrants he worked for –  is in our Parliament, and seems likely to be in it again next week.   But more alarming is the total silence of our elites.

I can’t believe that most of them –  media, politicians, past politicians –  are really comfortable with the situation.  But if they put their personal economic interests ahead of the interests, and values, of the people of our nation, by just keeping quiet, it makes no difference that they might be a little uncomfortable.  They have, in effect, sold their own country, and its values, for a mess of potage.

The media, and the academic community (the ones who still want to get to China anyway) are just as culpable –  most of the media not even now doing their most basic job and asking the questions – but I jotted down a list of senior politicians –  past and present –  that we should be able to look to for leadership.

We could look to current and past National Party leaders.   But Key and English have led the charge to strengthen the “vassal” relationship with the Chinese (and Brady reports that Key is now working for Comcast on its projects in China), and were the National Party leaders when Yang was recruited.    What about their predecessors?   Well, Brash chairs a Chinese bank , and Shipley has multiple Chinese directorships etc.  It would be costly to speak out.  But what about Jim Bolger –  certainly willing to speak out recently about “neoliberalism”, but what about submission to China’s interests?

What about former National ministers of finance.   Well, there is English, and Ruth Richardson (various Chinese directorships) –  and Bill Birch, but he is now quite elderly.   Or former Foreign Ministers?   Well, McCully should probably be asked about Saudi sheep deals…..and led the strategy to cosy up to China.  And Don McKinnon, but then he chairs the government’s China Council.    Any of these people could speak up –  sometimes principles cost –  but, sad as it is, perhaps it is no surprise they don’t.

And normally, a week out from an election you might expect strident comment from the Opposition.  But this time? Nothing?    And if it would disrupt the “relentlessly positive” narrative, what about former eminent Labour figures –  Cullen, Moore, Palmer, Goff, Clark?  Not a word though.

What of ACT’s leader?  Is this the sort of standard he accepts in the party he depends on?  What of the leaders of the Greens or the Maori Party?   Not a word from any of them.

The pattern of silence should leave us wondering just whose interests our leaders have been serving.     There is something to be said for politicians leaving office late in life and settling quietly into a dignified retirement.   It would be quite deeply disturbing if any of them are shaping their in-office approach to (eg) China with a view to their after-office economic opportunities –  consciously or otherwise.   A submssive approach to the Chinese government and party isn’t in our interests –  even if it might be in the personal interests of some present and former politicians and some business owners.

There are other people the media could –  if they were so minded –  seek comment from.  Mai Chen, for example, chairs something called New Zealand Asian Leaders.  Surely Jian Yang-  with such a disturbing past, so much hidden from the public, and a quite disturbing alignement with Xi Jinping’s Beijing now –  can’t be the sort of Antipodean Asian leadership they envisaged?

We aren’t, of course, a 1960s Albania to China.    But what the Yang episode highlights, as one example of the more general pattern Brady draws our attention to, is that we seem to have gone some considerable way down a slippery slope and need to pull back.  Some hard questions from the media, and some honest answers from politicians, would be a start.  And perhaps some courage on behalf of at least one of those decent people who has got too close to Chinese interests –  initially with the best will in the world – to say “enough”?

Before we (well, the rest of us) vote perhaps?

UPDATE (Wednesday pm).  This Herald article is at least in start in terms of the mainstream media addressing the issues and approaching some of the people concerned.

25 thoughts on “A near-complete cone of silence

  1. Unfortunately NZers (and particularly the young) are hypersensitive to be being called racist. The fear of that tag simply shuts down debate. Of course, it plays very nicely into the hands of those who want to keep criticism or analysis of our cosy, submissive attitude to China subdued. It’s a crying shame and we will pay a big price for our subservience eventually.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As you say very concerning that there is so little discussion. An ominous silence?

      Compare it to Winston’s superannuation for example. Both issues didn’t bother me much – in my judgement Winston was very unlikely to be deliberately cheating and Mr Yang is very visible for a spy – passing on parliamentary gossip could be good for NZ if it helps China take a considerate approach to NZ and it is hard to imagine him being handed military secrets. So I may not be too worried but look at how different these two issues have been dealt with by the media. Winston: plenty of letters published in the Herald and on online blogs and Mr Yang: virtually nothing. OK Winston is always news or at least he tries to be news but his over-payment was repaid so that issue is over whereas Mr Yang is standing for parliament again.

      As you point out in your post the concern about Chinese immigrants involved in our politics applies to many parties so a discussion of the matter should not be considered electorally sensitive. It could and should involve other nationalities; a historical comparison with the UK might be interesting.

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      • Personally, I think the much more serious issues around Winston Peters’ superannuation are the way officials passed the information to ministers (which even the PM has called inappropriate) and the way, it seems, people in the Beehive were responsible for the deliberate leaking of the information to the media.

        I don’t suppose anyone thinks of Yang as a “spy” in the sense you refer to. As the Brady papers highlight, the real concern is the other way round – the risk that he could be influencing NZ policy and legislation in the interests of another country. I’m not sure there is evidence of it having happened, but the risks seem quite real, and to be an issue that need openly addressing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As you will have noticed the leaking of Winston Peters superannuation details have been air-brushed from the mists of time – even the speed of the investigation and subsequent exoneration seemed unseemly

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    • Thanks Katherine and thanks to AJ – he always manages to come up with some interesting and eclectic links and comments.
      Interest.co have been running comment from one Siah Hwee Ang, he fits the bill exactly as one of these CCP facilitators with his ongoing (and appallingly lightweight) Chinese propaganda. I have railed against his recent series on the New Silk Road and really do have to wonder how he came to be awarded the BNZ chair in Business in Asia and also chairs the enabling our Asia-Pacific trading nation distinctiveness theme at Victoria University. He really comes up with the most ridiculous nonsense which would be funny if it wasn’t so potentially dangerous. Goodness knows what the University thinks of it, must be a huge embarrassment if they have any pride left.
      I can no longer comment on Interest.co (having been banned for my beliefs) but we must be willing to call out these malevolent influences wherever they occur. A huge thank you to Michael.
      Here’s a short clip from Jordan Peterson on the disaster of communist totalitarianism and a little on where we are headed if we don’t wake up and wake up fast.

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    • Even more interesting is what has happened to the Crafar properties since the controversial sale to Shanghai Pengxin. Covered in this thread – start reading from by Belle | Wed, 13/09/2017 – 12:26 – the discussion between Belle and Cowpat;

      http://www.interest.co.nz/rural-news/89782/federated-farmers-says-farmers-will-protest-jacinda-arderns-hometown-morrinsville-5

      The sovereignty question (and the answer proferred) within that thread that is the most concerning being this:

      “Would you say that the chinese govt kinda held a gun to Keys head over the crafar pengxin sale? Sales of milk powder being the gun? And if that was the case why did the Lochinvar sale get turned down?”

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  2. That’s standard practice ….

    It is the current government’s modus-operandi for stepping around, and over, and under issues of significance. The following cartoon by rod emmerson provides a taste of the number of scandals it has survived – but that’s the ways it’s done – remain silent – hunker down and it will blow over

    The one missing is the resignation of Maurice Williamson and his sordid arrangement with Donghua Liu

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  3. The impotence of the News Media
    Disclosure : I have been employed at both NZ Herald and NZ News – I have some inside expertise

    Labour’s proposal to spend $37 million on Radio NZ to bring it into the new millenium has been met with scorn and ridicule by the talking heads on the current radio waves – yet those same talking heads were supportive of John Key’s expenditure of $40 million on a new flag

    On the first segment of the News on TVNZ-1 last night had the news anchors both going ballistic on news items (cant even remember what they were) but they were getting frenzied and foaming at the mouth winding the viewer up, telling them how they should feel about the topics under discussion

    After living in AU for more than 20 years in a cauldron where the MSM are like rabid dogs that are struggling for relevance but they haven’t quite been put down yet. The AU MSM would go after the questionable events like a dog with a bone and they never let go

    That’s the difference arising from my initial observations – news items that you would think would have the MSM salivating like pavlov’s dog either never surface or disappear after a day or two. Another aspect that surprises is the number of people ringing talk-back-radio that say they don’t have a television or they don’t watch television

    Thus, I am not surprised the MSM media can be so easily cowed, or has become irrelevant so quickly

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  4. No doubt it is quite amazing to foreign governments and businesspeople how far a modest donation can go in NZ politics.

    I’ve decided to start donating to the party I intend to vote for, going forward. Hopefully other middle class people will start to think the same.

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    • Go have a look at that linked to article by Katharine Moody upthread – look at the second comment and ask yourself who is Susan Chou and what she bought for $300,000 in donations to the National party – and ask yourself if that was buying influence or not

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    • This election for the first time I donated to political parties. More than one because my mind is not decided and also because I wanted to help them get their messages out. However nothing like the sums mentioned in the various links.

      Blair puts it well with “”how far a modest donation goes in NZ politics”” but it is nothing compared to PNG. I remember reading of the company that was given logging rights to a big chunk of Papua (who knows it could have been a billion dollars of timber) after gifting a bureaucrat a set of golf clubs for his son and that took a corruption investigation to be made public years later. Maybe the average Papua New Guinean has little idea of either logging or golf but then does the average Kiwi contemplate our response to China’s actions in Tibet and the South China sea or know what “Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry” actually does?
      At least we do know why the Amalgamated Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union (EPMU) and Kim Dotcom made donations in the past.

      Is it time to discuss public funding of political parties?

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  5. .hhmmm, again agree with the sentiment; but the free trade deal of 2008 – I somewhat struggle with the line of upholding local values but doing trade or securing capital flows to promote domestic economic interests; I guess life is full of contradictions e.g. would I question the values of the highest bidder when auctioning my largest asset?

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  6. I believe this election is a cognitive dissonance election. It is the election where the government party wants the voting population to accept its word -that they are great economic managers -without question. They want us to believe the emperor has new clothes. They certainly do not want us to look properly and point out the reality. But the cognitive dissonance is getting too big, the nakedness too obvious….. It is getting harder and harder to deny;

    -That the economy is built on, an increasing number of disturbing links by current and former politicians with an anti-democratic one-party state of the biggest country in the world.

    -Michael Reddell pointing out that the economy per capita is not performing well, there is no productivity growth and NZ is not catching up with the rich nations it likes to compare itself to.

    -That the government has lost control of the housing market. Amy Adams in other portfolios was a good performer -but looks stupid on housing -couldn’t even answer a simple question -how many houses were built in Auckland last year. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/09/national-s-housing-spokesperson-doesn-t-know-how-many-houses-built-in-auckland.html

    -Simon Bridges -one of the government’s next generation leaders -has tainted himself by not releasing business cases for $billion road projects. One of which appears to be the most expensive road per km in the world. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/09/government-to-build-most-expensive-road-in-world.html

    -Has NZ ever had a Finance Minister that has stretched his credibility with the public as much as Steven Joyce? http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/09/patrick-gower-half-of-new-zealand-doesn-t-believe-joyce-s-fiscal-hole-claims.html

    Other cognitive dissonance problems include -cleaning waterways by changing the measurement criteria -not by actually improving water quality. Proclaiming the brilliance of targeted social investment, while ignoring unpalatable social statistics, such as increased diseases of housing poverty + malnutrition, highest youth suicide in the OECD…..

    Campaigning on misinformation that opposition parties will raise income taxes, which will stall the economy, when the reality is that government proposes to cut income taxes if elected, while the main opposition parties agree to maintain the current revenue/expenditure percentages wrt GDP. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/opinion/2017/09/patrick-gower-national-guilty-of-biggest-campaign-lie.html

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  7. The optics around this are not good – it’s out of control

    And herein is an example of what you are getting at but it’s not shutting down

    For those who remember Judith Collins being stood down from cabinet by John Key will remember the Oravida affair. Rather than regurgitate the whole lot you can read this stuff for yourself – this is what happens when government ministers get too close to the money they become inextricably linked into the woven fabric of the issue

    Now another festering boil has erupted and again the same government minister is up her armpits in it and on reading the comments you will find there is the sense of a cover up – the new media are accused of being coy or they are being held at bay while the spin doctors wait for the news cycle to blow away

    http://www.interest.co.nz/news/89895/auckland-fuel-crisis-gets-political-ardern-says-extra-storage-good-idea-labours-nash-says

    And amazingly the person put in control of the crisis is none other than Judith herself – conflicted?

    Like

  8. The optics around this are not good – it’s out of control

    And herein is an example of what you are getting at but it’s not shutting down

    For those who remember Judith Collins being stood down from cabinet by John Key will remember the Oravida affair. Rather than regurgitate the whole lot you can read this stuff for yourself – this is what happens when government ministers get too close to the money they become inextricably linked into the woven fabric of the issue

    Now another festering boil has erupted and again the same government minister is up her armpits in it and on reading the comments you will find there is the sense of a cover up – the new media are accused of being coy or they are being held at bay while the spin doctors wait for the news cycle to blow away

    ”’http://www.interest.co.nz/news/89895/auckland-fuel-crisis-gets-political-ardern-says-extra-storage-good-idea-labours-nash-says

    And amazingly the person put in control of the crisis is none other than Judith herself

    Like

  9. Thanks Michael, for the good overview. I have read the Brady paper and although I might disagree with some points she has produced a well researched document that raises important questions.

    Beyond the differences between influence operations, targeted interventions in domestic politics and espionage–and the overlap that may occur between them–the most troubling aspect of her research is the number of prominent New Zealanders who, one way or another, directly or indirectly, are in the pockets of the PRC. Be it through sinecures, honorary appointments, directorships or via straight employment or financial and corporate partnerships, it is very troubling to see how many prominent Kiwis act (knowingly or unknowingly) as fronts,facilitators, interlocutors and/or, dare I say, “useful fools” for PRC influence and intervention operations. And, much like the lax regulatory frameworks that led to NZ being used as a money laundering and shell company conduit until the extent of those activities were exposed, the absence of tight rules on foreign influence peddling in NZ politics and the economy needs to be, as Professor Brady mentioned, addressed as a matter of urgency.

    Since the Chinese paper both sides of the parliamentary aisle and prominent Kiwis of both major political persuasions are heavily represented in the ranks of those acting as PRC sock puppets, it is unlikely that either will initiate any investigation into the scope and extent of PRC influence in NZ domestic affairs. And because personages ideintified with various minor parties also are featured among the influence peddling facilitation networks, It is therefore left to others to assume the role of critical scrutineers of these connections. Along with professor Brady, you have done a good service in this regard.

    The question is whether others will follow your lead.

    Like

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