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HomeCHINA THREATENS OTHERSChina Threatens New Zealand Journalists

China Threatens New Zealand Journalists

China is becoming even bolder and more threatening!

The Embassy of China has dismissed the newspaper Stuff’s ( www.stuff.co.nz/ ) allegations of Chinese interference in New Zealand, with the threatening and warning that ongoing coverage of this issue could “harm” New Zealand.

Stuff featured an interview with former Intelligence Minister Andrew Little, who expressed the NZ Security Intelligence Service’s (NZSIS) concerns regarding China’s attempts to influence New Zealand through coercive and illicit methods.

The documentary from Stuff coincided with Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s visit to Wellington.

Although the embassy’s statement on Monday evening included two proverbs, it did not directly respond to any of the allegations raised in Stuff´s “The Long Game”.

Instead, the PRC embassy statement warned New Zealand media not to continue investigating claims of foreign interference.

It finished with the comment: “We advise those with malicious intent that the so-called ‘China interference in internal affairs’ narrative should cease, as it will ultimately harm the interests of New Zealand, and they will end up lifting a stone only to drop it on their own feet.”

Stuff contacted the embassy seeking clarification on their statement, suggesting that it had been perceived as a “threat,” but there has been no response.

Professor Anne-Marie Brady, a China-New Zealand expert, interpreted the embassy’s statement as concluding with a clear threat against New Zealand, seen as an effort by the Chinese government to silence critics, officials, and journalists.

The embassy issued a 700-word statement on Monday night in response to Stuff Circuit’s documentary, The Long Game.

The documentary and subsequent reporting featured accounts from Chinese New Zealanders who claimed they had been subjected to assault and intimidation as part of a coordinated influence campaign by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Foreign Minister Winston Peters refrained from directly challenging China’s response but appeared to lend support to the documentary. Meanwhile, Labour’s foreign affairs spokesperson David Parker emphasized the importance of investigating undue influence “in a democratic society.”

Peters told Stuff this was “between you and the Chinese embassy”, but said the investigation had been “unusually competent” and was “worth reading and listening to”.

“That’s all I can say. You’re arguing with a foreign Government now, aren’t you… Nothing to do with me,” Peters said.

Parker said he had been concerned by pressure placed on diaspora Chinese communities, but was also concerned by other nations’ foreign interference.

“I would ignore those threats if they are to be taken as threats,” he said.

“I certainly believe it is the role of New Zealand to investigate issues that are serious, and that it’s a very important role of the fourth estate to bring those matters to light.”

Subsequent efforts by Stuff to obtain additional comments from Ambassador Wang Xiaolong were also met with silence.

His 700-word statement said the investigations featured “baseless slander and misinformation on China”.

“They falsely accused China of interfering in New Zealand’s internal affairs, exporting ideology, and even engaging in violent illegal activities. The content is not better than, as people say in China, trying to chase the wind and catch the shadows,” the statement said.

“Stuff stands by the robust and thorough reporting, uncovered over two years by a team of New Zealand’s most experienced journalists,” the spokesman said.

He said Stuff Circuit had spoken to credible sources, including Little, Chinese New Zealanders impacted by the foreign interference campaigns, and SIS Director-General Andrew Hampton.

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