14 Sep 2017

National MP seeking legal advice on military claims

From Morning Report, 7:20 am on 14 September 2017

National MP Jian Yang is seeking legal advice following a story that raises questions about his links with Chinese military and intelligence.

The story by media outlet Newsroom focuses on the time Dr Yang taught at institutions run by the People's Liberation Army.

Dr Yang has confirmed he taught spies English, but says he was never a spy himself, and says he's the victim of a racist smear campaign.

Expert in Chinese intelligence Peter Mattis tells Susie Ferguson the institution is the equivalent of the US National Security Agency.

"If you were learning a foreign language at the Luoyang language institute you would be in the pipeline to joining military intelligence," he says. 

Mr Mattis says it raises many questions, including: "What units did he serve in, why did he choose to leave, did he have support to leave? ... Have his old colleagues tried to get in touch since he moved to New Zealand?"