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Two New Zealand MPs Resigned Due to Ties with Beijing

On May 26, news website Politik revealed that the resignations of two former MPs in New Zealand in 2020 had been orchestrated after the National and Labour party leadership received security briefings over growing concerns about their links to Beijing.

On May 27, in a personal column in the New Zealand Herald, Matthew Hooton, political adviser to Todd Muller, who was leader of the New Zealand National Party in 2020, confirmed that their departure was the result of the intervention of intelligence agencies.

Yang Jian, an MP from the National party and Huo Raymond, an MP from the Labour party resigned last July within 11 days of each other. Yang had served as MP for 10 years and Huo had served for seven years. During their terms as MP, they were frequently spotted participating in the events that the Chinese consulate or the United Front Department had organized. In 2017, two weeks before New Zealand’s September 2017 general election, Financial Times and reported that Yang has been teaching at a Chinese military institution for over 15 years. However, he did not disclose the teaching experience in his citizenship application. In 2019, Yang accompanied the leader of the National Party and met with Guo Shengkun, China’s secretary of Political and Legal Affairs.

In 2017, Anne Marie Brady, a Chinese scholar at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, published the report called, “Magic Weapons.”  The report listed a number of encounters that Yang and Huo had with Beijing’s United Front organization in New Zealand. The report mentioned that both Yang and Huo openly supported the Belt and Road initiative. Huo set up the Belt and Road Research Association in New Zealand and named himself as the Chairman. Huo organized a fund-raising banquet for the current Mayor of Auckland and raised over US$188,000. The participants were mostly Chinese. One of the items auctioned during the fund raising was the book Xi Jinping Talks about Governance Theory. Xi Jinping had signed the book. A Chinese buyer paid 150,000 New Zealand dollars (US$109,000) for the book. In addition, Huo once prevented New Zealand from inviting the Dalai Lama to visit. He told New Zealanders that the Dalai Lama was a separatist and a slave owner. In September 2019, he also introduced Beijing’s “New and Old Tibet” exhibition to New Zealand.

Source: Epoch Times, May 31, 2021