Monday 19th February 2018
|Text too small?|
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will "ask some questions" about claims Canterbury University academic Anne-Marie Brady's research into China's international influence campaigns was linked to a series of break-ins.
Last year Brady published a study saying China had expanded its attempts to influence foreign nations under President Xi Jinping's leadership, and urged the New Zealand government to mitigate that threat. Since then, she has dealt with multiple break-ins at her home and office, which she has linked to that work.
At today's post-Cabinet press conference, MP Ardern said she had seen public reports of the events, "but I'll certainly ask some questions" and would be concerned if Brady was the target of criminal acts in response to her work.
"I'll have to make sure I don't breach anyone's privacy in asking questions about something that's specific to an incident at her home," Ardern said. "But I would certainly want to be informed if there was evidence that this was targeted action against someone who was raising issues around foreign interference."
New Zealand has assiduously courted China over the years, touting its credentials as the first developed nation to recognise China as a market economy, support its accession to the World Trade Organisation, and start and complete a free trade agreement.
That's put it at odds with some of its traditional security allies, such allowing Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei to build telco networks domestically in contrast to Australia which banned the China company from bidding on the National Broadband Network build and more recently blocked a Huawei-made undersea cable from connecting to Australia's network.
Ardern today said if there's any evidence Brady was targeted over her work, the government "should be taking stock of it and taking action."
No comments yet
NZ dollar eases as US-China trade war, Brexit saga drag on
OceanaGold less confident in regulatory regime
INFINZ says RBNZ bank capital proposals lack analysis and scrutiny
Spark scolded for misleading customers on broadband price hike
Zespri annual profit jumps 77% on higher kiwifruit sales, increased licensing
Freightways says express package growth slowed in 2H, may flow into FY2020
BUDGET 2019: NZ debt target to be more flexible from 2022
Argosy annual profit climbs 36% on revaluation gains, pays slightly bigger dividend
NZ-owned banks says RBNZ capital proposals will make it harder to compete
Sanford earnings hit by vessel impact from crew death