A New Zealand academic who was attacked by agents from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for exposing Beijing’s interference in her country’s politics has received widespread support from fellow academicians. They wrote an open letter asking the government to protect her and prevent China from interfering in the internal affairs of New Zealand.
Attack on Brady
The academic, Anne-Marie Brady from the University of Canterbury, is a scholar on Chinese politics and closely monitors propaganda and tactics used by the CCP in the politics of New Zealand and other nations. In 2017, she published a paper called Magic Weapons, detailing the CCPs political intervention in the country while also giving recommendations on how New Zealand can deal with Chinese Communist influence.
The paper apparently attracted the attention of local CCP agents and they broke into her home, stealing electronic devices. The goons also tampered with her car. The CCP also seems to have directed some of its media affiliates in New Zealand to malign Brady’s name. To show their support to Brady, several scholars and academicians wrote an open letter.
“The harassment campaign against Brady risks having a chilling effect on scholarly inquiry, allowing the CCP to interfere in the politics of our societies unfettered by informed scrutiny. We urge the New Zealand authorities to grant Professor Brady the necessary protection to allow her to continue her research, sending a clear signal to fellow researchers that independent inquiry can be protected in democratic societies and conducted without fear of retribution,” according to the letter.
Meanwhile, Brady has sought protection from law enforcement agencies. She continues to openly expose the threat of Chinese political subversion of New Zealand. Brady also thanked the academicians for their moral support. “I am honoured & humbled to have the support of so many prominent voices both internationally & in NZ, speaking up against the campaign of intimidation & harassment I have experienced since my Magic Weapons paper went public,” she said in a tweet.
China eyes New Zealand
China has experienced double-digit GDP growth for over two decades. This has given the CCP all the resources it needs to form proxy organizations in different countries to try and influence local politics. In New Zealand, there is an excessively large number of Chinese language radio stations and newspapers even though the local Chinese population only comes to about 200,000 people. Most of the media outlets are funded by proxy organizations as propaganda mouthpieces of the CCP.
The U.S. has warned the New Zealand government to be wary of the Chinese plot to subvert politics to the CCP’s cause. “Australia had a major review from the National government that discovered certain malign behaviour on the part of the Chinese. We have China for instance attempting to influence our own politics and Vice President Pence and President Trump have spoken about that. But we fully trust the government in Wellington and the people of New Zealand to sort through that,” Randall Schriver, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security, said to Stuff.
In August this year, Xi Jinping called on the 60-million-strong global Chinese diaspora to work for the “glory” of China, highlighting the fact that the CCP simply sees Chinese citizens of other nations as tools to utilize for their benefit. And it’s time for the New Zealand administration to start confronting China before the Communist Party gets its tentacles deeply buried in the political landscape of the country.