|Member of the New Zealand Parliament |
for National party list
26 November 2011
|Born||1961/1962 (age 56–57)|
|Nationality|| New Zealand |
|Communist Party of China|
|Occupation|| Academic |
Jian Yang (Chinese name: 杨健, Yáng Jiàn) is a New Zealand Chinese international relations academic, politician and a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is a member of the National Party.
Yang grew up in Jiangxi Province in southern China. He earned his MA and PhD in international relations from the Australian National University.
In 1999 Yang joined the University of Auckland as a Senior Lecturer in Political Studies.He was granted New Zealand citizenship on 14 June 2004.
|New Zealand Parliament|
Yang was ranked at 36 on the National Party list for the 2011 New Zealand general election. He was the highest ranked new candidate on the list and was seen as a replacement for Pansy Wong, a Chinese MP who had resigned since the previous election.
On 13 September 2017 accusations were raised in the media that Yang "taught English to Chinese spies but was not a spy himself". Yang admitted he had a background as a civilian, or non-ranking, officer in the Chinese military. In response to the accusations, the National Party released a copy of Yang's CV from 2012, which mentioned his time at the Air Force Engineering College and Luoyang PLA University of Foreign Languages.The Financial Times says the Foreign Languages Institute is part of China's military intelligence apparatus, training linguists to intercept foreign communications. Yang was a lecturer at the Foreign Language Institute and his immigration file shows he taught the English language and American studies. Yang claimed he taught his students to simply monitor communications, rather than carry out "the physical act of spying". He conceded he could be seen as having taught spies. The New Zealand Herald later reported that Yang did not disclose his links to the schools in his citizenship applications and instead substituted "partner" universities.
Yang also confirmed that he had been a member of the Communist Party of China but not since coming to New Zealand.
I was a civilian officer, paid by the military but I had no rank. I was a lecturer.