Investigation calls for defence against foreign influence from China

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Andrew Little was satisfied that the NZSIS had the power needed to investigate foreign infiltration. (Source: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)
Andrew Little was satisfied that the NZSIS had the power needed to investigate foreign infiltration. (Source: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

In December 2017, Minister of the NZSIS (New Zealand Security Intelligence Service) Andrew Little addressed China’s foreign influence in a statement. This statement was published in a report by Radio NZ last December.

“Section 58 of the [Intelligence and Security] Act expressly permits the issue of a warrant to either of the agencies to collect information in a way that would otherwise be unlawful in relation to espionage or other foreign intelligence.”

In other words, the minister was satisfied that the NZSIS had the power needed to investigate foreign infiltration.

Andrew Little was satisfied that the NZSIS had the power needed to investigate foreign infiltration. (Source: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)
Andrew Little was satisfied that the NZSIS had the power needed to investigate foreign infiltration. (Source: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King)

The crackdown of foreign espionage in Australia and the United States

On June 5 2017, ABC published a report on the power and influence of China in Australia. The report outlined a joint investigation by Fairfax Media and Four corners which uncovered the infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia. According to ABC, the investigation ‘tracks the activities of Beijing-backed organisations and the efforts made to intimidate opponents of the Chinese Communist party.’

“The way the Chinese Government operates is effectively to control and silence dissent.”

The targets being influential figures such as political and business leaders. The political dealings of  Sheri Yan and Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo were both such examples. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has conducted further investigations on Sheri Yan and her close ties with the Chinese Communist Party.

As reported by ABC, “Even if they’re not receiving any kind of direction, they would feel some sense of obligation, or indeed make the right impression on the powers that be in China, to demonstrate that they’re being good members of the party, that they’re pursuing the party’s interests.”

Related: Power and Influence: The hard edge of China’s soft power.

On Dec 5 2017, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced new legislation to combat foreign influence. In addition, Turnbull also expressed concerns with China’s political interference in Australia.

On Dec 9 2017, Malcolm Turnbull addressed complaints from China regarding earlier comments on foreign threats. Noting that the Chinese Communist Party was founded in 1949 with the words “the Chinese people have stood up,” Mr Turnbull announced, “The Australian people stand up.”

On Dec 9 2017, Australia prime minister Malcolm Turnbull criticised foreign Chinese government for interfering with domestic politics. (Source: Getty images)
On Dec 9 2017, Australia prime minister Malcolm Turnbull criticised foreign Chinese government for interfering with domestic politics. (Source: Getty images)

On Sep 13 2017, the Financial Times collaborated with Newsroom in a report on New Zealand MP Jian Yang. The obscure Chinese military and educational documents provided by Mr Yang in official records; his previous involvement in teaching English to Chinese spies; his close ties with the Chinese consulate in New Zealand and the allegations of overturning security intelligence service caused an uproar in the local community.

Related: China-born New Zealand MP probed by spy agency

In Oct 2017, the New York Times published an article including statements from several China experts. The report included the viewpoint of New Zealand economist Rodney Jones who had worked in Asia for 30 years, and Professor Ann Brady, a political-science professor at the University of Canterbury.

China experts told the New York times in a series of interviews that one cannot simply “leave” the Chinese Communist Party as Mr Jian Yang has claimed. As Jian Yang has not declared to quit from the Chinese Communist Party, he is likely to hold allegiance towards it.

According to the New York Times, Mr Jones said that an ‘unrepentant’ former member of the Communist Party should not be eligible to be a New Zealand lawmaker.

In addition, the NZSIS has warned against foreign influence in a briefing document for incoming ministers. It warned, “New Zealand is not immune to the threat of espionage by foreign states, nor to foreign efforts to interfere with the normal functioning of government or the rights of New Zealand citizens. Such activities in New Zealand over the past year include attempts to access sensitive government and private sector information, and attempts to unduly influence expatriate communities.”

“NZSIS continues to see foreign powers conduct espionage activity and other hostile state-sponsored activities (including foreign interference) against New Zealand and New Zealanders. Foreign intelligence services pursue information, both classified and publicly available, to support the objectives of their respective governments.”

In contrast to our neighbours in Australia, there are relatively fewer of us in New Zealand who are taking action to resist foreign influence from abroad. With the exceptions of Professor Brady and national security agencies, the agenda of the Chinese Communist Party and its infiltration mechanisms remain largely unknown to the local community.

To address these concerns, Eagle Vision Times has conducted an investigation and a series of interviews on the chairman of the West Auckland Chinese association and director of the NZ United Chinese association Qi Xiang Sun.

An Investigation on the ‘Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand’ and its influence on local Chinese communities

In China, the Chinese government strictly monitors the expression of speech, freedom and activities of its citizens. Despite the small Chinese population of 200,000 in New Zealand which is only a fraction of China’s population, there is a significant number of Chinese groups and associations in New Zealand.

The investigation reveals that these organisations all have ties with the United Chinese Association of New Zealand.

A letter from the United Chinese Association of NZ was addressed to 40 smaller Chinese organisations which it leads.
A letter from the United Chinese Association of NZ was addressed to 40 smaller Chinese organisations which it leads.

A letter from the United Chinese Association of NZ was addressed to 40 smaller Chinese organisations which it leads.

The findings reveal links between smaller groups and the ‘United Chinese Association’ as well as the the ‘Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand’ especially when holding large events.

The directors of the West Auckland Chinese Association and the United Chinese Association told Eagle Vision Times that the two organisations have a “brother-like relationship.” In addition, the positions within the two associations are closely linked. Before 2015, Wei Zhang Huang was the director for both the United Chinese Associations of NZ and the Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand (PRCANZ). From 2015, the roles for the two associations overlapped frequently. For instance, the deputy directors of the United Chinese Association, Juan Ren Yan and Mao Zhen Zhen, were also deputy directors of the PRCANZ.

Caption: On Apr 2 2017 the United Chinese association elected leadership roles for its committee. Of which, Mao Zhen Zhen was elected as a deputy director. (source: United Chinese association)
Caption: On Apr 2 2017 the United Chinese association elected leadership roles for its committee. Of which, Mao Zhen Zhen was elected as a deputy director. (source: United Chinese association)

Another closely related group is the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). The director of CCPIT, Hezhi Yun, has been the secretary general of both the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ.

The director of CCPIT, Hezhi Yun, has been the secretary general of both the United Chinese association of NZ and the CRPANZ. (Source: CCPIT)
The director of CCPIT, Hezhi Yun, has been the secretary general of both the United Chinese association of NZ and the CRPANZ. (Source: CCPIT)

CCPIT deputy director, director and secretary general Juqiang Chen has also been the director of the Hawkes bay division of the PRCANZ in 2015. CCPIT deputy director, Waikato division director, and executive director Xi Ju was also the PRCANZ director in 2017. CCPIT international communications director Liang Yu Shi was the deputy secretary general of the PRCANZ in 2017.

These findings indicate close ties between the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand and the United Chinese associations of NZ. All three organisations have great influence over the local Chinese community.

The Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand (PRCANZ) is affiliated with the Chinese Communist party

On the surface, the Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand (PRCANZ) is a local, independent organisation registered in New Zealand. However, the PRCANZ and the Australian council for the peaceful reunification of China are both under the direct influence of the China Council for the promotion of Peaceful National Reunification (CCPPNR) in mainland China.

The China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification in China is led by the the Chinese people’s political consultative (全国政协) and the united front department of the party central committee (统战部). Both Zhengsheng Yu (CCPPNR director) and Chunlan Sun (CCPPNR deputy director) both have roles in the Chinese government.
The China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification in China is led by the the Chinese people’s political consultative (全国政协) and the united front department of the party central committee (统战部). Both Zhengsheng Yu (CCPPNR director) and Chunlan Sun (CCPPNR deputy director) both have roles in the Chinese government.

The CCPPNR webpage includes a list of divisions abroad. Yet Oceania branches New Zealand and Australia have been excluded from the list.

Oceania branches New Zealand and Australia have been excluded from the list of CCPPNR branches abroad. (source: CCPPNR website)
Oceania branches New Zealand and Australia have been excluded from the list of CCPPNR branches abroad. (source: CCPPNR website)

Analysis of web page coding reveals that the CCPPNR has intentionally concealed branch information in NZ and in Australia after the release of ‘Power and Influence’ from Australia and the Jian Yang scandal in New Zealand.

Caption:Analysis of web page coding reveals that the CCPPNR has intentionally concealed branch information in NZ and in Australia after the release of ‘Power and Influence’ from Australia and the Jian Yang scandal in New Zealand.
Caption:Analysis of web page coding reveals that the CCPPNR has intentionally concealed branch information in NZ and in Australia after the release of ‘Power and Influence’ from Australia and the Jian Yang scandal in New Zealand.

Webpage searching tools have also uncovered links between CCPPNR and 11 branches of the Australian council for the peaceful reunification of China (ACPPRC). Xiang-Mo Huang, the director of the ACPPRC from Dec 2014 to Nov 2017 had been responsible for communication between China and Australian Chinese communities.

The CCPPNR webpage includes mentions of the ACPPRC and director Xiang-mo Huang. (source: CCPPNR)
The CCPPNR webpage includes mentions of the ACPPRC and director Xiang-mo Huang. (source: CCPPNR)
The CCPPNR webpage revealed 11 branches across various Australian cities and states. (source: CCPPNR)
The CCPPNR webpage revealed 11 branches across various Australian cities and states. (source: CCPPNR)

Similarly, the CCPPNR had 3 branches in New Zealand under the title of the Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand (PRCANZ). However these links were removed from the CCPPNR website shortly after the Jian Yang scandal.

The CCPPNR had 3 branches in New Zealand under the title of the Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand (PRCANZ). (source: CCPPNR)
The CCPPNR had 3 branches in New Zealand under the title of the Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand (PRCANZ). (source: CCPPNR)
PRCANZ is the subdivision of the overarching CCPPNR in mainland China. (source: CCPPNR)
PRCANZ is the subdivision of the overarching CCPPNR in mainland China. (source: CCPPNR)

According to WikiLeaks, the United Front Work Department has the responsibility to “carry out [China’s] foreign policy with nongovernmental communist organizations worldwide. In addition to being involved in covert action and intelligence gathering, the department has also been active in monitoring and suppressing Chinese dissidents abroad. Its officers typically operate under diplomatic cover as members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a notable difference from China’s main intelligence services.”

It appears that the Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand (PRCANZ) is one of the subsidiary bodies of the Chinese Communist party.

In the novel “Nest of Spies: The Startling Truth about Foreign Agents at Work Within Canada’s Borders,” Fabrice de Pierrebourg and Michel Juneau-Katsuya suggested that the Chinese United Front Work Department is involved with the management of important information from archives abroad; the monitoring of overseas Chinese students and Chinese communities; the broadcasting of political information abroad; as well as the recruitment of intelligence personnels.

The Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand is under the direct command of the NZ-based Chinese Embassy

Investigations have suggested similar operational systems between PRCANZ and the Chinese Embassy. From institutional guidelines to personnel arrangements, the operation of the PRCANZ follows the commands of the Chinese Communist Party and consulates abroad.

On Nov 7 2015, the PRCANZ was established at the Chinese Consulate office in Auckland. Representatives from the NZ based Chinese embassy, the Consulate General of Christchurch and the Auckland embassy attended the assembly. That included Qing-Bao Liu, Consul General of the Auckland Chinese Embassy from 2012 to 2015.

On Nov 7 2015, the PRCANZ was established at the Chinese Consulate office in Auckland. (source: World TV Group)
On Nov 7 2015, the PRCANZ was established at the Chinese Consulate office in Auckland. (source: World TV Group)

The effect of PRCANZ on local Chinese communities

Charity hosts cultural activities to promote political propaganda

Investigation indicates that many Chinese organisations in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, register events as charitable organisations and receive funding from the local government. These activities largely include entertainment, fitness, dance, chess, table tennis and so on.

However many of these groups often utilise these events to broadcast political propaganda.

Let us look at a transcript from an interview of Qi-xiang Sun with Eagle Vision Times. Mr Sun is the director of both the West Auckland Chinese association and the United Chinese association of NZ.

Mr Sun: On the 17th, we will organise a dance event and we will say that Falun Gong is…
Reporter: oh, so you will organise lots of Chinese to go there and protest?
Mr Sun: Yes! To protest!
Reporter: Are there any conditions to joining your protest? For example if we’re not from West Auckland…
Mr Sun: That’s fine, you are all welcome to come.

Reporter: Will there be anyone from other districts?
Mr Sun: Yes.
Reporter: so you’ve registered this event under your name and the West Auckland branch [of the Chinese Association], but other districts are welcome to participate?
Mr Sun: Yes, it’s under my name.
Reporter: Have you told the directors of other districts?
Mr Sun: Yes, all of them.
Reporter: but the main purpose is to protest?
Mr Sun: yes, to protest!

Reporter: because you are against Falun Gong, you are protesting against Shen Yun performing arts on Feb 17?

(Note: Shen Yun performances feature divine traditional culture from ancient China which is opposed by the atheist Chinese Communist party).

Mr Sun: Yes!
Reporter: so despite registering your event as dance under the West Auckland branch, all branches are invited to participate?
Mr Sun: we will welcome them if they are keen.

“Charities” with the same political agenda as the Chinese Communist government

The interview proves that the political stance of NZ-based Chinese groups is identical with that of the Chinese Communist Party.

The interview transcript with the west Auckland Chinese association director and United Chinese association of NZ director Qi-xiang Sun, continues below.

Reporter: Returning to the issue of Falun Gong, the Chinese government has a set outlook on Falun Gong. So in your opinion you think that you should share the same perspective as the Chinese government despite being in a different country?

Mr Sun: Yes, the Falun Gong knows it too. I know a Falun Gong practitioner. I once asked him why wouldn’t he return to China? Because they will get arrested once they do…

The investigation details various large scale events hosted by the United Chinese association of NZ and PRCANZ.

  • On Dec 30 2017, a group formed by various Chinese groups protested outside the Chinese consulate and engaged in physical dispute with pro-democrats.

Related:Falun Gong and Pro-democrats attract opposition in central Auckland

  • On Dec 14 2017, a group of Chinese protested against Falun Gong outside the Chinese consulate in Greenlane. The group called for the removal of Falun Gong practitioners from the public footpath.

Participants in the anti-Falun Gong group told Stuff in an interview that they supported the Chinese government’s stance on the Falun Gong.

Anti-Falun Gong group supported stance of the Chinese Government. (source: Stuff)
Anti-Falun Gong group supported stance of the Chinese Government. (source: Stuff)
Mr Mao (central right) was interviewed by Stuff in Dec 2017. (source: Stuff)
Mr Mao (central right) was interviewed by Stuff in Dec 2017. (source: Stuff)

Mr Zhen Zhen Mao, Director of the United Chinese association of NZ, and the deputy director of PRCANZ, was interviewed by Stuff as a Greenlane resident. As stuff reported, “Greenlane resident Zhen Zhen Mao said he was concerned about the potential for violence and had raised this concern with Auckland Council and police.”

Related:Fears of violence as Falun Gong and foes clash over Auckland footpath

  • On April 7 2017, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ organised a gathering of over a hundred people to protest against the performance of Shen Yun performing arts from New York.
On April 7 2017, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ organised a gathering of over a hundred people to protest against the performance of Shen Yun performing arts from New York. (source: Investigation report)
On April 7 2017, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ organised a gathering of over a hundred people to protest against the performance of Shen Yun performing arts from New York. (source: Investigation report)
  • In Feb 2016, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ hosted a protest against Shen Yun performing arts outside the Aotea centre in Auckland. More than a hundred people attended the protest.

Shen Yun’s perspective- Why does the Chinese government oppose Shen Yun performing arts? 

In Feb 2016, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ hosted a protest against Shen Yun performing arts outside the Aotea centre in Auckland. The 2 men holding hands were Juan-ren Yan (left) and Zhen Zhen Mao (right). (source: investigation)
In Feb 2016, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ hosted a protest against Shen Yun performing arts outside the Aotea centre in Auckland. The 2 men holding hands were Juan-ren Yan (left) and Zhen Zhen Mao (right). (Source: Investigation)

In Feb 2016, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ hosted a protest against Shen Yun performing arts outside the Aotea centre in Auckland.

The investigation has not found direct links between PRCANZ and protest events against Tibetan independence and Taiwanese independence. However the current list of events hosted by PRCANZ indicates that their purpose is to stifle any form of opposition against the Chinese government, in New Zealand. In recent years, their target include pro-democrats, the Falun Gong, and any opposers of the Chinese Communist values including the traditional Chinese performance Shen Yun.

However the current list of events hosted by PRCANZ indicates that their purpose is to stifle any form of opposition against the Chinese government, in New Zealand.

The influence of PRCANZ on local Chinese media

The PRCANZ directs the operation of Chinese media

Research has found that the PRCANZ has had affiliations with:

  • “The voice of Asia”(亚洲之声), a chinese newspaper in Auckland. The director being Wei-zhang Huang who was the director of both United Chinese association of NZ and PRCANZ.
  • “Home Voice Chinese Weekly News”(乡音),legal representative Kai-wen Ceng, also director of Wellington branch PRCANZ. The news platform was registered in Oct 1998 in NZ (ISSN 1176-8924) with hard copies distributed in Wellington, weekly for free. Published on every Friday with numbers reaching more than 10,000 copies. Hard copies currently available in more than 50 locations, with a website and subscription to an internet radio station.
  • “Waikato Weekly Chinese Newspaper.” Director Xi Zhu is also the director of PRCANZ. The Waikato Weekly Chinese Newspaper was registered in 2005 under The Ocean Media and was published in Hamilton, Waikato. Published weekly on Thursdays with 3000 hard copies each release.

There has also been Chinese media which were not under the direct influence but have close ties with PRCANZ. These include:

  • NZ Chinese Town webpage (www.chinesetown.co.nz). Admin Ping Li was also the deputy director and secretary general of the NZCCPIT. (Note: The director of the committee has always been Zhi-yun He, secretary general of both the United Chinese Association of NZ and the PRCANZ. The deputy director of the committee has been Xi Zhu, executive director of the United Chinese association of NZ and the director of the Waikato division.)

All these media platforms publish articles with a similar stance as the PRCANZ.

How does the PRCANZ utilise local Chinese media as a broadcasting tool?

Study findings suggest that PRCANZ advertise their large scale events on associated media platforms in New Zealand. Some of these events carry political agenda and have reached many Chinese communities through mass advertising.

For instance, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRCANZ had jointly presented an article welcoming the arrival of Premier Li Keqiang in Apr 2017. This article was re-published multiple times on 10 affiliated Chinese media platforms.

The featured ads or articles will also include slandering criticism of the Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners have approached and conducted interviews on some of these media platforms. Below is a transcript from an interview between a Falun Gong practitioner and Waikato Chinese Weekly director Xi Zhu concerning an article featuring a criticism of Falun Gong.


Falun Gong practitioner: Is it true that the Waikato Chinese Weekly has its own opinion and stance on such matter [regarding Falun Gong]?
Mr Zhu: That is probably so.
Falun Gong practitioner: So there has been no financial transactions between yourself and them [the party who provided Mr Zhu with the article]?
Mr Zhu: He said he would pay me.
Falun Gong practitioner: Has he paid you yet?
Mr Zhu: I still need to send him an invoice, our invoices are monthly.
Falun Gong practitioner: So first he gives you the article, which you publish. Then he will make a payment according to the contract. So is he a commercial-
Mr Zhu: That’s probably so. 
Falun Gong practitioner: Mr Zhu, don’t you think that this process determines the credibility of the article? In other words, you’ve received a contract and have published this article [with the Waikato Chinese Weekly]. Do you mind if this information is made public?
Mr Zhu: I don’t mind. I have yet received objections from that particular article.
Falun Gong practitioner: Have you checked the credibility of this article?
Mr Zhu: We cannot possibly do that for every single article.
Falun Gong practitioner: Mr Zhu, if this article has reported your actions or has quoted your words and has been published in the Waikato Chinese Weekly, and if he has made a payment to you, do you think that you are responsible for this? Either as an individual or the Waikato Chinese Weekly?
Mr Zhu: I’ve said that the published articles have not been written by myself personally. So I cannot promise that the facts in each article are correct and credible. However, because this newspaper has been distributed. This article has been distributed, so I must have responsibility, right? It doesn’t matter whether they have paid to publish this article or whatever… I can admit that, that’s fine.
Interview transcipt translated by Eagle Vision Times

Apart from the Waikato Chinese Weekly, the Home Voice Chinese Weekly News and the NZ Chinese Town, the Chinese Herald and the Mandarin Pages have also published similar articles.

On Dec 19 2015, the “Chinese Times” received a complaint from Falun Gong practitioners about a similar article which was claimed to be an advertisement. The New Zealand press council ruled that “ the report falls short in its obligations to be an accurate and balanced news story. It gives voice to the remonstrators and even describes the weather, but fails to balance the story with the views of the Falun Dafa members.”

It continued, “However the Council is concerned that it was not clearly labelled as an ad, but rather was made to look part of the article. The editor is responsible for all a newspaper’s content and it is her/his obligation to make it clear to readers what is paid advertising and what is journalism. The Chinese Times failed to do this.”

In Apr 2014, the Home Voice Chinese Weekly News (issue 771 article 21) published an ‘advertisement’ on behalf of the Wellington Association for Promoting Peace Reunification of China Inc. The ad received complaints from Falun Gong practitioners was taken to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA documented, “This emotive, negative and exaggerated language is clearly intended to, and has the likely effect of, causing serious hostility, contempt and ridicule to members of Falun Dafa, particularly within the Chinese Community. The comments are abusive and the Material encourages the reader to participate in the hostility and contempt by boycotting the Shen Yun performances. The comments made in the Material are reasonably likely to, and have in fact, caused serious offence to members of Falun Dafa particularly against a contextual history of persecution of Falun Dafa participants and the worldwide distribution of “false propaganda” about the practice, described by the US Government…”

As a result, the appeal had been upheld. The full document can be found under complaint number 14/301 on the ASA website.

It is clear that ‘advertisements’ have been used as a tool to attack the Falun Gong when defaming articles were deemed as “unbalanced news stories” by law. This is the path taken by the PRCANZ and the United Chinese Association in NZ to promote political propaganda.

A similar message had been promoted by China’s state controlled Global Times with the article “Chinese donors have legit role in Oz politics,” published by Xiangmo Huang in Aug 2016. Mr Huang, chairman of the Australian council for the peaceful reunification of China, urged Chinese donors to “learn from others about how to participate in politics, how to realize their political appeals by donations, and how to deploy the media to promote their political ideas.”

Mr Huang advised, “Chinese should be more confident and active in Australia’s political affairs, which includes confidently donating to local politicians.”

 

Extracted from Editorial “Chinese donors have legit role in Oz politics by Xiang-Mo Huang in August 2016. (Source: Global Times)
Extracted from Editorial “Chinese donors have legit role in Oz politics by Xiang-Mo Huang in August 2016. (Source: Global Times)

 

Mr Huang, chairman of the Australian council for the peaceful reunification of China, urged Chinese donors to “learn from others about how to participate in politics, how to realize their political appeals by donations, and how to deploy the media to promote their political ideas.” (photo source: Financial Times)
Mr Huang, chairman of the Australian council for the peaceful reunification of China, urged Chinese donors to “learn from others about how to participate in politics, how to realize their political appeals by donations, and how to deploy the media to promote their political ideas.” (Photo source: Financial Times)

In September 2016, Mr Huang was reported to be involved in a scandal involving Australian Senator Sam Dastyari. Mr Huang was the chairman of the Yahu group which helped settle a “legal matter” for Mr Dastyari which reportedly cost $40,000. According to ABC, the Yahu group donated $435,000 to branches of the Liberal Party and $100,000 to federal Labor within a 2 year period from 2013 to 2015.

As the Yahu group was subsidiary of a state-linked organisation based in China, Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop said that the circumstances in which Senator Dastyari received funds “are completely different from that of an individual or a company donating to a political party”.

Read the full article from ABC here

Also related: Huang quits Sydney think-tank amid concerns over Beijing influence

China’s influence over NZ politics

PRCANZ contributed large political donations to the National Party

Before the election in May 2017, the electoral commision of New Zealand recorded several major donations to NZ political parties. Our investigation included an analysis on the transaction, recipients and donations from Chinese companies and individuals.

The majority of Chinese individuals have donated to the Labour party before 2008. After the 2008 election, John Key took over as prime minister from Helen Clark. Since then, major Chinese donors have directed funding to the National party.

That includes $56,000 from Stone Shi, founder of Oravida which exports NZ food products to China; and $50,000 from the Citi Financial group co-owned by Yan Yang and Qiang Wei. Other donors include Lang Lin, CEO of Rider Horse Co Ltd; Zhao Wu Shen and his wife Susan Chou; Xiao Miao Fan; Chhour Lim Nam Chinese supermarket and Steven Wong.

According to political-science professor Ann Brady, Wong wass the “head of the United Chinese Association, head of the New Zealand Chinese History and Culture Association, Vice President of the China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand, member of the Guangdong Provincial Association of Overseas Exchanges, Shandong Province Association overseas honorary president, member of the China Peaceful Reunification Council, and an adviser to the Beijing Overseas Chinese Affairs Council.”

Newsroom described Wong as a “Red Capitalist,” a ‘patriotic wealthy ex-pat Chinese who provide further funding for United Front work.’

Wong made a donation of $23,000 to the Labour Party on Apr 30, 2018 as noted in records.  

Read more on NZ Herald: Chinese cash flow to Nats

In 2017, the Elections Electoral Commission updated the donation protection policy. Any donor who makes a donation less than $44,628 “between two successive elections” are not required to disclose such information to the public. Therefore details of many recent donations remain unknown.

According to Newsroom, MP Jian Yang was elected as a Member of Parliament in 2011. Since then, he has organised many fundraising events from anonymous sources.

According to the Otago Daily Times, Winston Peters said that New Zealand had been caught out and exposed to being a pawn of the Communists in China.

Deputy prime minister Winston Peters.(Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Deputy prime minister Winston Peters.(Hagen Hopkins/ Getty Images)

“The influence of the Government of China is real within the New Zealand Government. This is not a spy thriller from the airport bookshelves,” said Mr Peters at a conference in Sep 2017.

Mr Yang sat on the influential Parliamentary Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee. That was highly concerning considering Mr Yang’s decade-long background working with China’s military intelligence.

The Otago daily times continued, “The Communist takeover of New Zealand was near complete, Mr Peters said. The Chinese had full control over New Zealand’s most valuable value-added product of infant formula and had got control in five years, with the help of the National-led Government.”

On Mr Yang’s role as a major fundraiser for the National party, Mr Peters concluded, “It’s not that interest we are questioning but his influence on National and National’s policy.”

Read more on NZ under China’s influence: Peters

How has China influenced the sovereignty of NZ?

In May 2015, then-foreign minister Murray McCully sent out instructions telling all MP’s not to attend the World Falun Dafa day, a Falun Gong celebration event. The email was intended for National MPs only but was accidentally sent to all members of the Parliament.

The email suggested, “The Chinese Embassy is likely to monitor attendance at events and can be expected to protest officially should Ministers, Members of Parliament or other officials be present … Given the sensitivities of this event, [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’] advice is Ministers and MPs should not attend World Falun Dafa Day events.”

Considering that the Chinese government has been persecuting Falun Gong since 1999, McCully clearly did not wish to upset them. However that was precisely how China has threatened the sovereignty of New Zealand officials.

“I have a fundamental problem with the executive branch of Government … presuming to advise members of the national legislature what to do,” said Greens MP Kennedy Graham.

David Shearer, then-Labour foreign affairs spokesman added, “It is outrageous to warn MPs off from attending events. It should not be dictated to by Murray McCully and his ministry because they feel it might upset another country.”

Read more about the Falun Gong warning on NZ Herald

Furthermore, links with the Chinese governing forces were also suspected for the break-in at the house of academic Ann Brady.

Find out more about there break-in here

What is sacrificed in the process of China’s infiltration?

Unknowingly becoming China’s propaganda tool

On Apr 7, 2017, the United Chinese association of NZ and PRCANZ held a joint event to protest against Shen Yun performance arts from New York. Outside the ASB theatre, media reporters received many questions from middle-aged and elderly Chinese residents. These questions included:

“Is this where the square-dance is?”

(Note: Square-dancing is an exercise routine performed to music in outdoor squares or parks in China. Participants are usually middle aged or retired women.)

“Does the square dance start at half past five?”

The reporter asked, “Don’t you know the specifics of your event?”

“They said we’re here for the square dance!”

Reporters later interviewed an elderly man who was making a protest.

Reporter: Why are you protesting against them?
Protestor: We don’t object if they [Falun Gong practitioners] just do the exercises. But they’re being political. It’s not good to be political.
Reporter: You think that they are being political. But you have a gathering of more than a hundred today to protest against them. Would you consider that political?
To which, the protester did not comment any further.

If the square dancers in our interview had no knowledge of the protests, the United Chinese association of NZ and the PRACANZ have not informed all participants about protest element in these events. Yet the dancers inevitably become broadcasting tools of the Chinese government despite their individual stance on the matter.  

A future outlook for New Zealand

After Four Corners had published the “Power and Influence” report in Australia, the Australian government have began a crack down on foreign influence. Cases which have led to this final decision include Sheri Yan being jailed for bribing an UN official; as well as Mr Xiangmo Huang and his involvement in the Sam Dastyari scandal. While this is beneficial for Australia’s resistance of foreign interference, the regulations have also tightened up for Chinese immigrants in Australia.

For instance, the cancellation of the 457 temporary work visa will have limited many Chinese workers from acquiring permanent residential visas in Australia.  

In New Zealand, deputy prime minister Winston Peters and the NZSIS has lead an investigation into the Jian Yang incident. But our investigation suggests that the Chinese government has infiltrated more than New Zealand politics, but also into the activities and freedom of Chinese abroad, and in some cases, New Zealand authorities.

If the NZSIS begins investigating transactions between local authorities and China’s state-controlled organisations in NZ, many public figures may be placed under public scrutiny. What will happen then? Will we follow in Australia’s footsteps and tighten our immigration borders? Will the public opinion of Chinese-New Zealanders deteriorate? New Zealand has always took pride in its value for human rights and its trust between our people. Our culture of trust cannot be replaced by economic benefits offered by foreign countries.

Let us speak up today.

Translated from:起底新西兰华人社区背后的暗势力——谁正沦为中共渗透新西兰的牺牲品!

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