Jian Yang again/still

In September, a couple of weeks before the election, the Financial Times and Newsroom published a story about the National MP Jian Yang.  The story revealed that Yang, who lived in China until age 32, had been a member of the Chinese Communist Party, and a member of the Chinese military intelligence establishment, and suggested that Yang –  formerly a member of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee –  may have been investigated by the Security Intelligence Service.    Questions were raised as to how much of this background the National Party had been aware of when they first selected him in 2011.  None of it had been known to the voters at the time.

The story got a day’s coverage in various local media and then largely went cold in New Zealand, even though it was just before the election, and although it happened to coincide with the release of a major paper by Canterbury University politics professor (and China expert) Anne-Marie Brady, raising substantial and documented concerns about the influence China was seeking to exert in New Zealand, both through the (former) Chinese diaspora (people in public life like Yang and Labour MP Raymond Huo), among Chinese New Zealanders, and (for example) through the recruitment of various prominent New Zealanders to well-remunerated roles in which they might be either well-disposed to Chinese interests, or at least unable/unwilling to voice any concerns about China’s activities and policies.    Professor Brady herself summarised the issue thus

This policy paper examines China’s foreign political influence activities under Xi Jinping, using one very representative state, New Zealand, as a case study. 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”. 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. The paper considers the potential impact of China’s expanded political influence activities in New Zealand and how any effects could be mitigated and countered.

Yang himself has largely avoided the media.    But papers released under the Official Information Act confirmed that he had not told New Zealand authorities about his involvement with Chinese military intelligence, instead suggesting he had worked and studied at some quite different institutions.   Asked why, he responded that the Chinese authorities had told him to do so when he had left China (years earlier), and that was the way things were done in China.   That only heightened the concerns.

I wrote various pieces about the issue, noting (for example) that we should no more regard it as acceptable to have in our Parliament a former Chinese Communist Party member, former member of China’s military intelligence, someone who continues to hob-nob with the Chinese embassy, and who has never said a public critical word about Communist China (even as Xi Jinping increases the repressiveness of the regime) than it would have been to have a former KGB/GRU party member, associating closely with the Soviet Embassy, in our Parliament in the 1970s.  No one would have countenanced the latter.  It remains staggering –  and alarming about either the blindness of our elites, or the extent to which they’ve been suborned  (eg Yang is acknowledged as a major National Party fundraiser) –  that the Yang situation still appears to be regarded as acceptable in many quarters.

My own direct involvement was pretty tangential, when at a local candidates meeting a couple of days before the election, I asked a senior National Party minister –  Attorney-General and Minister for the SIS no less – about why it was acceptable to have such a person as a National Party candidate and MP.    Disgracefully, Chris Finlayson suggested that any concerns were just racist and that Professor Brady just didn’t like any foreigners.  Almost as disgracefully, the candidates of the other parties sat mute.

The story has had continued coverage abroad, including a nice New York Times piece a few weeks ago.  Serious –  pretty liberal –  international media such as the NYT and FT have taken the story seriously.    Our own media was slow to.  No doubt that suited the politicians –  at least those of the major parties.

But this week, the story seems to have gathered a fresh head of steam.   Our new Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had  previously talked on the need for an inquiry, by last week was avoiding questions on that topic, suggesting instead that the media could give the issue some more coverage.   And so, no doubt coincidentally, they did.

First, there was a substantial article by Matt Nippert in the Herald. Nippert notes that his article drew on “interviews with diplomatic and intelligence sources over the past month, including several with current security clearances”  –  which is surely less impressive than it sounds, as huge numbers of people in Wellington have security clearances (I did for years) –  but those sources seem to have added only a bit more colour, rather than revealing anything substantially new.    Nippert’s article is organised around what he calls “three unanswered questions” regarding Jian Yang:

  • What is Luoyang University?  This is the institution Yang claimed he had studied and taught at, rather than disclosing from the start that for much of his time he had actually been at a People’s Liberation Army academy.
  • Did Yang have access to sensitive materials (as an MP, member of the foreign affairs committe, and as –  otherwise junior –  MP accompanying John Key and Tim Groser on official trips to China)?
  • Why the official silence?

I’m not sure these really are the biggest issues now.   We know –  because Yang told us –  that his citizenship or residency applications details were (deliberately) misleading.    That is probably quite serious at a personal level, and probably warrants more from government departments than we’ve had to date.

Both Internal Affairs and Immigration NZ have said the revelations about Yang’s background and apparent lack of disclosure were not grounds to review their handling of the matter. A spokesman Immigration NZ went as far as to say “no new information has come to light which would warrant an investigation”, despite the facts being novel enough to warrant front-page coverage last month in the London-based Financial Times.

But, frankly, it seems like a second-order issue.  A man with his background, and ongoing associations, should not be a New Zealand MP, whether or not his citizenship application was all in order.

As for the information Yang may have been exposed to, even Nippert’s sources aren’t really alarmed.

Another source said Yang’s background – and closeness to New Zealand’s PRC embassy – was well-known in senior Wellington circles and had led to self-censorship. “I’m sure everyone is aware of that, and would be careful about what they say in his presence,” the source said.

“Would Jian have seen the briefing papers that were given to John Key? Almost certainly. He sat up the front of the aircraft with the Prime Minister and his advisers – I can’t imagine for a moment he didn’t have access to it.”

The source said this briefing document – unlikely to include top-secret classed intelligence from the Five Eyes network – would have been given a classification of confidential or higher.

In other word, just not that sensitive, even on the government’s own official classifications.

If there was  particular risk to New Zealand interests around his official position it was probably much more about the possibility that he might have one day become a Minister of the Crown.

The Herald tackled the third question –  the official silence –  in an editorial on Tuesday.

International media have rightly shown a keen interest in the affair.  But locally, interest – and answers – have been strangely muted. Neither National leader Bill English nor Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern seemed willing to address the issue during the election campaign. NZ First’s Winston Peters initially demanded an inquiry, but has gone silent on the matter since his elevation to Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ardern has inherited a role that includes oversight of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies and will undoubtedly have been briefed on the Yang situation. She needs to reassure herself and then, in appropriate fashion, the public that the matter has been – or will promptly be – properly addressed.

But again, the issue of the intelligence services seems to be rather of a red-herring.     Yang, after all, now certainly has no access to anything particularly secret –  he’s an Opposition backbencher.  On the other hand, Raymond Huo –  who appears to also be closely associated with China’s United Front Work Department efforts in New Zealand –  is part of the governing party.    As Professor Brady puts it

Huo also has close contacts with the Zhi Gong Party 致公党 (one of the eight minor parties under the control of the United Front Work Department). The Zhi Gong Party is a united front link to liaise with overseas Chinese communities, as demonstrated in a meeting between Zhi Gong Party leaders and Huo to promote the New Zealand OBOR Foundation and Think Tank.

It was Huo who made the decision to translate Labour’s 2017 election campaign slogan “Let’s do it” into a quote from Xi Jinping (撸起袖子加油干, which literally means “roll up your sleeves and work hard”). Huo told journalists at the Labour campaign launch that the Chinese translation “auspiciously equates to a New Year’s message from President Xi Jinping encouraging China to ‘roll its sleeves up’.”

How sick is that? Invoking associations with Xi Jinping.

As a citizen, what worries me isn’t so much backbenchers giving away New Zealand secrets to China –  apart from anything else, they generally won’t have such access –  as the way in which such Members of Parliament seem to act as if the interests and views of the increasingly oppressive Chinese government and Communist Party are things for them to advance in New Zealand.   That is an issue both main parties look as though they need to confront, rather than being an issue primarily for the intelligence services.  Migrants should be welcome, once they become citizens, to be elected as members of Parliament, but it is probably particularly important for such members to be clear –  not just in words, but in conduct –  that their loyalties are only to the interest of New Zealand and (all) its citizens.  If Chris Liddell  –  a New Zealander on the White House staff –   spent lots of time hob-nobbing with the New Zealand Embassy, the US might reasonably wonder whose interests he was serving.  If Julie-Anne Genter does (which I’m sure she doesn’t) something similar with the US Embassy here, the same concerns would appropriately arise.  And recall that China is not just any country; it is today’s Soviet Union. A threat to all sorts of countries, including the free ones of east Asia.

Our main non-commercial media outlet, Radio New Zealand, was very late to the issue.  But this week they too have done their bit.   First, Bill English finally faced a reasonably searching interview on the subject (on Morning Report).  It was an astonishingly feeble performance, featuring repeated refusals to answer questions in any way other than “you’d have to ask Dr Yang that”, when the leader of the National Party knows that Yang has refused to make himself available for a proper interview, and for weeks has refused to answer any questions (Nippert’s experience as well).    The former Attorney-General, who claimed it was all racist, still holds a senior position in Mr English’s caucus.

And then there was John Campbell, who in his inimitable style last night illustrated the repeated refusal of Yang –  an elected member of Parliament –  to front the media.  According to Campbell, Radio NZ has been trying to get him to talk every day for weeks.  Calls simply go through to voicemail and are never returned.  Radio NZ even went to Yang’s house, but couldn’t get past the (unanswered) buzzer at the gate.

It reflects shockingly poorly on almost everyone in political life involved in this situation:

From the National Party side:

  • Jian Yang
  • Bill English,
  • Peter Goodfellow, President of the National Party,
  • Chris Finlayson, and
  • the rest of the caucus, not one of whom has been willing to break ranks (although Radio NZ did claim senior National Party sources were becoming increasingly uneasy).

And what of the new government?

  • There is the Prime Minister, who has never uttered a disapproving word, in the election campaign or since, about Dr Yang (not even about his silence),
  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs,
  • The leader of the Green Party, a party which appears not to rely on lots of diaspora fundraising, who is often strong on protecting our sovereignty, and yet who raised no concerns,
  • Raymond Huo, who surely some media should ask for a proper interview.

And then, of course, there are the obsequious members of the New Zealand China Council, and former leading figures in the National Party with a personal economic interest in keeping quiet.

Jian Yang’s political career is probably now effectively over.  Perhaps he’ll linger for a while, but it is inconceivable that he could rise any higher.  It is a disgraceful reflection on New Zealand, and on the National Party – and those other parties who could have spoken out and didn’t –  that an unrepentent Communist, unrepentant former intelligence services member of a hostile, expansionist government with a total disregard for human rights, sits in our Parliament still.  And simply refuses to face the media.  But that particular damage is probably done, it is just now a matter of tidying up the mess at some point.

The bigger questions would seem to be about the political and business culture that has been so indifferent to the specifics of Yang, and of Huo, to political fundraising from foreign sources, and to the sort of influence-seeking activities –  both among New Zealand Chinese citizens and in the wider political and economic system –  that Professor Brady has highlighted.    Professor Brady’s paper raises issues that really should be addressed in a proper inquiry, but also in some considerable soul-searching among New Zealand’s political and business elite about how New Zealanders’ interests, and reputation, as a free and independent state are best-served, and how best we –  and similar countries –  resist the inroads the Chinese Communist Party is making and, we can assume from the last Party congress, will only continue to seek to make.  As I noted in an earlier post, trade has muddied the waters: we had a clearer-eyed perspective on the Soviet Union than we seem to have about Communist China, a state on whose fortunes various elite institutions/companies and their chief executives (but not New Zealand’s overall fortunes) depend.   Perhaps our media too might ask themselves some questions, about what took them so long, made them so seemingly reluctant, to ask the hard questions about these issues.  Overseas comentators have been willing to, but the involvement of much of our own media seems quite halting and reluctant at best.

 

43 thoughts on “Jian Yang again/still

  1. Here are the questions I put to Immigration NZ today.

    1. How would you explain that Jian Yang had provided a false certificate which claimed he had studied in Luoyang University from 1978 to 1982 and was granted bachelor degree.

    According to Wikipedia and Baidu, a Chinese searching engine and other sources, the Luoyang University wasn’t founded until 1980 which means it didn’t exist in the year of 1978.

    This Luoyang University is a Polytechnic which according to China’s State Education Commission has no right to grant bachelor degree, but Jian Yang proved a copy of bachelor certificate.

    2. Jian Yang claimed he was asked to use a partnership university when applying to study in Australia. How are you going to prove Jian Yang’s statement is true and how are you going to prove Luoyang University is the partnership university of the two actual military universities he had studied and worked?

    3. How much chance you are confident that the Luoyang University is the partnership school for both two military universities Jian Yang ever studied and worked, as one of them in Xian city and one in Henan city. They are in two provinces where Jian Yang stayed in different period of time.

    4. Are you confident that the Immigration Office has done proper due diligence when approving his residency application and there is still no need to review his application?

    5. How would you interpret Jian Yang’s self description below which was included in his Statement of working experience.
    “Considered as a very promising young scholar. I was picked by the University and was recommended to China’s State Education Commission as a candidate to Study aboard.”

    Does that mean his study in Australia was arranged by Chinese government?

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  2. Good post, Michael. One typo: “Questions were raised as to how much of this background the National Party had been aware of when they first selected him in 2020.”

    Should be “2012”, I think.

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  3. I interviewed a former Chinese colonel whose father was one of army generals and founded the PLA Chief Staff Department and himself defected China after witnessing the 6.4 Tiananmen Massacre.

    He affirmed me once again, Jian Yang had absolutely no chance to go to Australia if he wasn’t assisted by the Chinese government, because an active serviceman wont’ be allowed to go abroad even in today’s China let alone Jian Yang left China in 1994.

    He said Jian Yang had to be assisted by the Chinese government to get his passport, school certificates etc, therefore he was pretty much sure Jian Yang was sent by the government.

    He asked whether there is legal enforcement imposed on NZ citizens or residents who made false statements in their applications. He mentioned a Chinese US citizen was sentenced this year for lying on immigration paper without disclosing he was a member of Communist Party and worked for national police force in China.

    Naperville man sentenced for lying about Communist Party membership

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/crime/ct-nvs-naperville-communist-immigrant-sentenced-st-0203-20170202-story.html

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    • I am actually quite surprised at the number of ex military men in NZ. I met a ex-general who was in charge of weapons design in the military. He told me that they managed to capture a exocet missile and opened it up. When their engineers/scientists could not re-engineer the rocket they realised that technically they were so far behind that they had to open up and send their chinese students around the world to catch up with the rest of the world. I guess all chinese students could be classified as a potential threat to National Security as well since they were sent out by the government with their permission otherwise no Chinese student can actually leave the country without government permission as well.

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  4. “” in 2017, a Chinese diplomat favourably compared New Zealand-China relations to the level of closeness China had with Albania in the early 1960s”” – closeness like a glove puppet and a hand?

    It is very sad but not surprising that politicians of all parties have been mute. It is only safe to say ‘China’ if you also say ‘Cutlery’.

    Jain Yang and Raymond Huo need to be interviewed and asked why they prefer NZ to China. I have no problem comparing NZ favourably to my country of origin while remaining quite proud of some aspects of it.

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    • Fortunately, your home country (and its current govt in particular) isn’t responsible for the starvation of tens of millions of people.

      There would seem to be much in Chinese culture to be proud of. But there is almost nothing (certainly not in net terms) to the credit of the party/state that China’s govt has been these last 68 years. As with Germany – during the Hitler years one could admire huge amounts of German culture, but know that the govt itself was evil. Or Russia in the Soviet Union days.

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      • My home country is New Zealand. It hasn’t been my home for as long as it has been yours but it has been for 14 years like your son. And unlike your son it is my home by choice.

        Why I prefer it to Britain is hard to explain but the feelings are genuine. If I was an MP and my loyalty to NZ queried I would attempt to explain how NZ is better for my family than Britain but I would have no obligation to critically compare UK history with NZ history (although it would be great fun arguing the toss both ways).

        Our MPs of Chinese origin are in the same position. They only need to compare China with NZ from when they left until now. So they ought to be asked about booksellers being abducted by Chinese special forces, current activity in Tibet, the economic status of the 8% ethnic minorities, oppression of Falun Gong, etc. I hope Jian Yang and Raymond Huo would give rational answers and express appropriate emotion about Chinese government mistakes and failures. If asked about events from 68 years ago they could counter by asking about events in the Maori land wars, etc and it would be unproductive.

        I really don’t like the Chinese government and I believe it is really dangerous but it can boast an astonishing economic success. The obvious question would be what can we learn from China; my answer is just about nothing except for the risks involved with government owned businesses. It would be interesting learning more from a better informed source.

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      • I don’t agree, on a couple of counts. China’s economic performance has been absolutely lousy, in comparison with those of freer East Asian countries (Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan). It should be a huge embarrassment to them that they have done so poorly.

        But, more importantly, the current Chinese govt is the same govt is in 1949 and beyond – the same govt Jian Yang (in particular) voluntarily served as an adult officer in military intelligence. I’d have expected any Soviet emigre in the 70s, wanting to be in our Parliament, to stronlgy disavow the 1930s purges, the suppression of the Hungarians in 1956, the Ukrainian starvation – perhaps even the Ribbentrop/Molotov pact. None of these issues arise in respect of the British born MP who might have worked for the British military, esp as our two countries have been friends, allies and more throughout our modern history.

        (For what it’s worth.. you’ve actually lived here longer than my US born son. Then again, you’ve lived elsewhere a lot longer than he has!)

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      • I think in the main we agree. I was just trying to put a case for NZ politicians of Chinese origin, how I would respond in their shoes. What is hard to grasp is why they are finding it so hard to actually be interviewed. Most politicians love media attention. High profile = Politician; Low profile = Spy.

        Can we start the rumour that Dr Yang has been abducted by the same Chinese special forces that detained Hong Kong book sellers?

        Until you published something recently I had not realised how far behind the Chinese are on GPD per capita. The countries you compare China with started roughly equal after the war(total destruction) and have done twice as well but if you choose a start date of post Mao then surely China’s growth rate (GPD per capita) has to be remarkable. Someone said the last time any country grew at 10% per year for over two decades it was NZ 150 years ago.

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      • On the post-Mao point, I guess that is probably true……..but if you shoot yourself in the foot for 30 years and achieve little or enough, then once you stop that particular masochism there is a lot of catching up to do,

        That said, China’s growth even in recent decades is large but particularly exceptional (relative to say those really successful emerging economies).

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      • You say “you don’t agree, on a couple of counts. China’s economic performance has been absolutely lousy”

        That’s a real difference between Macro and Micro

        In 30 years it seems China has produced a prodigious number of billionaires and multi-millionaires

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      • it is a big – very big – country. And – letting my social democrat tendencies show – I care a lot more about median incomes, than about the wealth of the top 100 (especially in a country where the wealthy are keen to get as much of their money out of the country as they can, since they can’t count on the rule of law at home).

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      • Sort of makes my point. In a country with 250 times our population, they have 594 billionaires and we have a couple. Since inequality in China is pretty dreadful, the rich do really well, and those further down the scale would be much better off in Taiwan or Korea or Singapore (or even NZ)

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      • Almost but not quite
        China has produced its mega-wealthy in 30 years
        That’s not bad going
        NZ has been at it for 150 years

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      • most advanced technological civilisation 1000 years ago……..

        The gains of the last 30 years, which have taken them to being a middle income country (unlike Taiwan or Korea or SIngapore) are mostly about stopping shooting themselves in the foot.

        Don’t get me wrong: I glad for the Chinese they are better off than they were in 1979. But they’d be materially better off still if they’d chosen freedom and democracy and open markets and the rule of law these last 100 years.

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      • I guess that’s why the USA put all American Japanese into prison camps during WW2. Can’t tell a good jap from a bad jap afterall eh.

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  5. Danger
    Marcus Lush has just walked through Island Bay – reckons you are more likely to be killed by a cyclist here than a car

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    • I take (what appears to be) his point……altho for most of the day it is hard to actually spot a cyclist.

      In 39 years since I first moved here, I think the total deaths on the road, cycleway or footpath is either zero or (just possibly – can no longer remember the details of the incident) one.

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  6. I think we can all rememeber a certain gentleman of large proportions who al;so was accused or lying in his application to become a Kiwi. That particular case is still live thru the courts.

    But both parties have been donkey deep in the Chinese money laundry.Probably a third one as well with fishing deal.

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    • I think we can also recall the Israeli Mossad agents that were using illegaly obtained NZ passports to move around the world. The sister of one of these chaps used to work alongside in my bosses company. Wonder whats happened to those agents because they also happen to be kiwi born Mossad agents.

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      • Also the timing of John Key’s resignation seems to be rather more than a coincidence when NZ goes forward only a few months later to denounce Israels actions against the Palestine people resulting in Israel recalling their ambasador from their NZ embassy. It starts to suggests that perhaps Jewish people in NZ should pledge allegiance to NZ and denounce Israel if they are to take up office in government. I would not call Israel’s government actions in Palestine as baby sitting and peaceful afterall tanks and machine guns used against Palestinian civilians are not exactly childrens pea shooters.

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      • It would be a shame to let the day go past and not mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration – precursor to the founding of the state of Israel.

        But on your specific point, were an MP in NZ to have had a past as a serving member of Mossad, and spent lots of time at events hosted by the Israeli embassy, I hope questions would start to be raised (as with the US examples I included in the post). A difference, of course, is that Israeli is an open and democratic society – with its flaws, like all of us.

        And having marked the centenary, I remain (sadly) a bit sceptical that Israel will be around to see in the bicentennial. None of us, of course, will be around to know.

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      • I am starting to also see the merits of the Australian constitution in requiring anyone with dual citizenships to resign from being a Australian MP irrespective of whether you are in Government or in Opposition. The thing about being Jewish is that you are also conferred automatic Israeli citizenship.

        It was somewhat disruptive and disappointing to have your Prime Minister suddenly step aside because of a massive conflict of interest. I would have hoped that he would have stood up as a loyal New Zealander and NZ Prime Minister and denounced Israel together with the rest of his cabinet instead of making up some silly excuse and then stepping out and avoiding very conveniently any blow back from Israel.

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      • I’m not getting into your (as far as I can see) unsubstantiated claims about John Key

        But Israeli citizenship is only conferred on Jewish people when they settle in Israel. Provisions like the Australian constitutional one are irrelevant.

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  7. quote “Migrants should be welcome, once they become citizens, to be elected as members of Parliament, but it is probably particularly important for such members to be clear – not just in words, but in conduct – that their loyalties are only to the interest of New Zealand and (all) its citizens”

    I have thought long and hard about this – the more I think about it the more the Australian imbroglio about citizenship and dual citizenships and Barnaby Joyce make for comfortable reading – at first it seemed over-the-top but now has validity

    I agree, Jain Yang has flatlined and will rise no further. Same with Golriz Ghahraman – difficult seeing her overcome her mis-step

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    • “”Golriz Ghahraman – difficult seeing her overcome her miss-step.”” Assume you mean speaking at the anti-nazi protest as reported and discussed a few days ago. Judging by the UK it will be a step up – more visibility. Did any of the protesters at the 1981 Springbok Tour become successful politicians?

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      • The 1981 anti-Tour protests were (mostly) legal protest (exceptions, I guess, the invasion of the ground in Hamilton and a guy buzzing Eden Park in a light plane), and had a pretty large share of mainstream NZ participating. I’m not sure anyone became a successful politician on the back of those protests, altho plenty of people who were later successful politicians were probably involved.

        That said, I agree with you about the prospects of Ghahraman. She may, or ,may not, do well in politics, but i doubt last weekend’s events will do anything to hold her back. On its own, I’m not even sure it should: it is a one event, she is a new young MP etc. All of us make mistakes. But as a pattern of behaviour I would find it more problematic.

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      • For the benefit of the many migrants to New Zealand who arrived post The 1981 Springbok Tour which was a significant time for New Zealand. The pressures and emotions that had built up in prior years would culminate in the protests at the time of the tour. The NZRU was out of step with the ordinary kiwi. Our opposition to the tour was in solidarity with our Maori bretheren rather than opposition to a political regime in a far-off country. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa between 1948 and 1991
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/1751010/South-Africa-says-no-to-Maori-players-again

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  8. While Jian Yang didn’t spare his time on returning the media inquiries, he had continuously kept himself busy to attend the events organised by the United Front Chinese Organizations.

    http://metropoliseventscentre.co.nz/category/news/?lang=en

    On Monday 30 Oct, he was present at the opening ceremony of 10th Chinese Film Festival which brought 12 movies from China to be screened in the cinemas in Akl, Wltn and Chch in Nov and Dec.

    Nov 16-19, Penthouse Cinema, Wellington,
    Nov 23-27, Railto, Auckland
    Dec 1-4, Hollywood Cinema

    2 of them are China’s propaganda war topic movies, one titled ” My War” and the other one ” The Founding of an Army“ .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_War_(film)

    http://chinafilminsider.com/screen-china-nationalist-films-heat-frigid-summer-box-office/

    FYI, the majority of Chinese still believe the Chinese army’s involvement with the Korean War was to defeat the US and South Korean allies who attempted to invade China.

    These films are invested by CCP government for the purpose of brainwashing.

    According to a poster in the Chinese website Skykiwi, the festival also celebrate the 45 anniversary of establishment diplomatic relationship of New Zealand and China.

    http://welly.skykiwi.com/activity/2017-10-31/249870.html

    I don’t think these movies should be allowed to screen in New Zealand and are greeted by the three mayors of above cities, since they are insulting the dignity the 47 Kiwi men who died in the Korean War and their families and the whole nation.

    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/korean-war/roll-of-honour

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      • There used to be an English language Chinese channel that was a bit rich. It featured Citizen Wang jumping into a leaking oil well and a young man who went to some idyllic place in the mountains, which (it dawned on me) was Tibet.

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    • Daisy, sounds like you are from Hong Kong? I actually enjoy the various propaganda series on the entire life of Mao as he built up the Communist Red Party. It does give me a huge insight on the Communist political machinery and its aspirations. I was brought up very anti communist but since watching the history and aspirations of the communist party, its internal conficts and the power struggles in trying to govern a country the size of China with its thousands of languages and thousands of different culture, I start to appreciate that some of the difficult and hard decisions seen as vicious and cruel was actually quite necessary to deal with the level of complexity the size of China and its huge and diverse population brings.

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  9. What of the xenophobia meme? My father was a POW of the Japanese and in my parent’s generation xenophobia (skepticism at least) was standard. Now, it seem, we have found a way to rid the world of conflict by calling difference “diversity” and rationalising that while workers in the West loose out workers in poor countries benefit, owners of land benefit etc.

    Sir Henry Vanderhaden told a woman’s rotary group “[not to] trust them ever”. Last night I listened to a reading by an English teacher in China. She said the teacher has a Chinese flag on his desk and a student gave a speech where she says “we are one family”.
    Also
    “An overwhelming 94.5 per cent stated they were Chinese/Taiwanese/Hong Konger, while only 5.5 per cent said they somehow felt they belonged to both New Zealand and their country of origin,” the report said.

    The study also found that Chinese migrants aged 15 to 44 felt significantly more attached to their homeland identity than those aged 45 and over.

    Manying Ip, the professor of Asian studies who led the project, described this as “surprising” and said the finding contradicted earlier assumptions that older Chinese migrants were more conservative and therefore felt more attached to their homelands.

    “The finding is surprising in that it contravenes accepted migration and acculturation theories,” she said.
    “It indicates that the younger cohort are more attached than their older counterparts to their native homeland and feel their identity is more Chinese than anything else.”

    Professor Ip said the finding carried “significant implications for future interpretation of migrants’ sense of allegiance and their acculturation process”.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/multiculturalism/news/article.cfm?c_id=58&objectid=10783815

    Which is what you might expect when you are 92% Han and have a 3000 (?) year old culture.

    Chinese netzins call the white left Baizou.

    I presume they mean a certain Professor and Asia NZ Foundation.

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    • “”The study also found that Chinese migrants aged 15 to 44 felt significantly more attached to their homeland identity than those aged 45 and over.”” is very interesting. It matches my very limited experience. My ethnically Chinese friend who was born in NZ over 75 years ago seeming to be as Kiwi as Colin Meads and Ed Hillary. We were giving a lift to another ethnic Chinese Kiwi pensioner and she was born in poverty in Hong Kong; very scathing about the Communist Party of China and also totally reluctant to move from her large house to an apartment however luxurious – she had had enough of apartment living in Hong Kong.

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      • The problem with being labelled as Chinese Migrants is that there are also hundreds of millions of chinese Malaysians, Chinese Singaporeans, Chinese Indonesians, Chinese New Zealanders, Chinese Australians, Chinese Koreans, Chinese Japanese, Chinese Americans etc etc etc

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      • Indeed, the languages are actually quite similar between the chinese written characters and the Japanese written characters. I had thought they would be quite separate and different cultures but my recent holiday in Japan shows up a rich chinese connected history. I had a chinese born guide from NZ and she could read the written language, although completely at a loss on the spoken language and managed to get us around reasonably easily for our various activities even though it was her first time in Japan. Of course I completely struggled with reading anything in Japanese or Chinese and if by myself would have booked into the nearest tour operator or hung around the hotel for fear of getting lost.

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  10. Thanks Michael for your efforts to keep this issue alive. It is indeed really important. I am shocked at the venality of the National Party. Unfortunately Labour hardly seem any better. We must not let these concerns be brushed aside.

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