Former Chinese spy trainer and National MP to retire at election

By Bronson Perich
Dr Yang Jian - Photo / NZME

National List MP Dr Yang Jian (Jian Yang) has today said he will retire from politics at the 2020 election.

Dr Yang has served as a list MP for nine years, and has lived in Aotearoa for 21 years.

He says it has been an honour to serve the Chinese community and felt privileged to be part of two National governments.

Dr Yang became the subject of media attention when it was revealed that he was a former member of the Chinese Communist Party.

Further controversy came when his academic work in China, which included teaching Chinese spies English, came to light.

Despite being fluent in English, he became well-known for refusing to engage with English-speaking media, preferring Chinese speaking media .

While he has not revealed his future plans, Dr Yang will continue to be a member of the National Party.

“I am proud to be a New Zealander, and a member of the National Part,y which I will continue to support into the future.”

He counts helping to strengthen Aotearoa relations with China as an achievement he is proud of.

Notes on Chinese names

In Chinese culture, the whānau name comes first. Often Chinese people will switch their names around to meet their western format of putting their given names first. In the case of Dr Yang, Yang is the whānau name, and Jian is the given name.