Jian Yang (politician)

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Jian Yang

Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National party list
Assumed office
26 November 2011
Personal details
Born1961/1962(age 57)
Nationality New Zealand
Political party National
Other political
Communist Party of China [1]
Occupation Academic
Website http://www.jianyang.co.nz/

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.

International relations Relationships between two or more states

International relations (IR) or international affairs (IA) — commonly also referred to as international studies (IS), global studies (GS), or global affairs (GA) — is the study of interconnectedness of politics, economics and law on a global level. Depending on the academic institution, it is either a field of political science, an interdisciplinary academic field similar to global studies, or an entirely independent academic discipline in which students take a variety of internationally focused courses in social science and humanities disciplines. In all cases, the field studies relationships between political entities (polities) such as sovereign states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs), and the wider world-systems produced by this interaction. International relations is an academic and a public policy field, and so can be positive and normative, because it analyses and formulates the foreign policy of a given state.

New Zealand House of Representatives Sole chamber of New Zealand Parliament

The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.


Early life

Yang grew up in Jiangxi Province in southern China. He earned his MA and PhD in international relations from the Australian National University. [2]

Jiangxi Province

Jiangxi is a landlocked province in Eastern China. Its capital and largest city is Nanchang. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze river in the north into hillier areas in the south and east, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to the northwest.

A Master of Arts is a person who was admitted to a type of master's degree awarded by universities in many countries, and the degree is also named Master of Arts in colloquial speech. The degree is usually contrasted with the Master of Science. Those admitted to the degree typically study linguistics, history, communication studies, diplomacy, public administration, political science, or other subjects within the scope of the humanities and social sciences; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the natural sciences and mathematics. The degree can be conferred in respect of completing courses and passing examinations, research, or a combination of the two.

Australian National University National research university in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

The Australian National University (ANU) is a national research university located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Its main campus in Acton encompasses seven teaching and research colleges, in addition to several national academies and institutes.

In 1999 Yang joined the University of Auckland as a Senior Lecturer in Political Studies. [3] He was granted New Zealand citizenship on 14 June 2004. [4]

University of Auckland University in New Zealand

The University of Auckland is the largest university in New Zealand, located in the country's largest city, Auckland. It is the highest-ranked university in the country, being ranked 83rd worldwide in the 2019/20 QS World University Rankings. Established in 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, the university is made up of eight faculties; these are spread over six campuses. It has more than 40,000 students, and more than 30,000 "equivalent full-time" students.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
2011 2014 50th List 36 National
2014 2017 51st List33 National
2017 present 52nd List33 National

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. [2]

2011 New Zealand general election election in New Zealand

The 2011 New Zealand general election on Saturday 26 November 2011 determined the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament.

Pansy Wong New Zealand politician

Pansy Yu Fong Wong is a former New Zealand politician. She was New Zealand's first Asian MP, serving as a member of parliament for the National Party from 1996 to 2011. She was also New Zealand's first Asian Cabinet Minister, serving as Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Minister of Women's Affairs, Associate Minister for ACC, and Associate Minister of Energy and Resources in the Fifth National Government.

Spy allegations

On 13 September 2017 accusations were raised in the media that Yang taught English to Chinese spies in the 1980s and 1990s. [5] 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 People's Liberation Army University of Foreign Languages. [1] The Financial Times says the Foreign Languages Institute is part of China's military intelligence apparatus run by the People's Liberation Army, training linguists to intercept foreign communications. It was also reported that Yang attracted the attention of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service three years prior to these revelations. [6] 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". [1] He conceded he could be seen as having taught spies. [7] 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. [4] [8]

The Air Force Engineering University is a military university of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), located in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, China. It has 6 colleges with about 8000 students and 700 teachers and professors. The university was established in 1959, and renamed in 1999. It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of National Defense.

Peoples Liberation Army Combined military forces of the Peoples Republic of China

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and of its founding and ruling political party, the Communist Party of China (CPC). The PLA consists of five professional service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. Units around the country are assigned to one of five theater commands by geographical location. The PLA is the world's largest military force and constitutes the second largest defence budget in the world. China is one of the fastest modernising military powers in the world and has been termed as a potential military superpower, with significant regional defense and rising global power projection capabilities. As per Credit Suisse, the PLA is the world's third-most powerful military.

<i>Financial Times</i> London-based international daily newspaper

The Financial Times (FT) is an English-language international daily newspaper owned by Japanese company Nikkei, Inc., headquartered in London, with a special emphasis on business and economic news.

Yang also confirmed that he had been a member of the Communist Party of China but claimed to be inactive since moving to New Zealand in 1994. [1] [9]

Communist Party of China Political party of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The CPC is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "National MP Jian Yang taught English to Chinese spies but was not a spy himself". Stuff.co.nz . 13 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017. I was a civilian officer, paid by the military but I had no rank. I was a lecturer.
  2. 1 2 Looking beyond the 'token' tag New Zealand Herald, 2 November 2011
  3. Faculty of Arts – Arts Faculty Office Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine artsfaculty.auckland.ac.nz
  4. 1 2 Fisher, David; Nippert, Matt (21 September 2017). "Revealed: The citizenship file of spy trainer turned National MP Jian Yang". The New Zealand Herald . ISSN   1170-0777 . Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  5. Graham-McLay, Charlotte (4 October 2017). "A New Zealand Lawmaker's Spy-Linked Past Raises Alarms on China's Reach". The New York Times . ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  6. Jennings, Mark (13 September 2017). "National MP trained by Chinese spies". Newsroom . Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  7. Nippert, Matt (30 October 2017). "Three unanswered questions about our spy-trainer MP". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  8. Nippert, Matt (12 October 2017). "Jian Yang didn't disclose Chinese intelligence connections in citizenship application". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN   1170-0777 . Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  9. Schmitz, Rob (2 October 2018). "Australia And New Zealand Are Ground Zero For Chinese Influence". NPR . Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2019.