Jian Yang is a New Zealand politican who has recently received a large amount of scrutiny due to the discovery that he failed to declare that he was involved in training spies as part of work he did at a university in China in a citizenship declaration. I followed this story with interest. It occurred to me as worrying and interesting to consider how much such an individual has been involved in government since becoming a citizen of New Zealand.
Recent documents obtained by The International Column through an Official Information Act request indicate that before the arrival of State Councillor Liu Yandong on an official visit to New Zealand in 2012, Jian Yang received a briefing containing information specific to her and other Chinese officials prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The complete documents contains information about these officials that the public is not privy to according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Further statements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received as part of the Official Information Act release indicated that individuals like Jian Yang are invited into involvement in official trips, in this case and in others via phone. Hence there is not a paper record of how Jian Yang became involved in several trips to China and visits to New Zealand of Chinese officials.
Jian Yang responded to claims that his failure to be forthcoming brings his integrity into question by claiming that those who write about him are attacking him because he is Chinese. However, it is worth noting that should Jian Yang and his actions not be brought into question simple because he is of a certain ethnicity or formerly not a New Zealand citizenship is rather silly. Witch hunt or not - the public deserves the opportunity to form their conclusions of Jian Yang based on evidence.