China ex­pert links break-ins to work

The New Zealand Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Matt Nip­pert in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter

ANew Zealand aca­demic who made in­ter­na­tional waves re­search­ing China's in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence cam­paigns has suf­fered two re­cent break-ins which she be­lieves were con­nected to her work.

Univer­sity of Can­ter­bury pro­fes­sor Anne-Marie Brady, speak­ing yes­ter­day from Christchurch to the Aus­tralian Par­lia­ment's In­tel­li­gence and Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee in Can­berra, out­lined three re­cent events which caused her con­cern.

“I had a break-in in my of­fice last De­cem­ber. I re­ceived a warn­ing let­ter, this week, that I was about to at­tacked. And yes­ter­day I had a breakin at my house,” she said.

She said this week’s bur­glary at her Up­per Ric­car­ton home was par­tic­u­larly sus­pi­cious.

“I had three lap­tops — in­clud­ing one used for work — stolen. And phones. [Other] valu­ables weren't taken. Po­lice are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing that.”

Brady also said her em­ployer at Can­ter­bury Univer­sity had been pres­sured fol­low­ing ear­lier work on China's Antarc­tic pol­icy and — fol­low­ing a re­cent visit to China — sources she had talked to were sub­jected to vis­its from au­thor­i­ties.

“Peo­ple I've as­so­ci­ated with in China, just last year, were ques­tioned by the Chi­nese Min­istry of State Se­cu­rity about their as­so­ci­a­tion with me.”

The dis­clo­sures came af­ter NSW MP Ju­lian Leeser asked Brady whether her re­cent pro­file on the sub­ject had re­sulted in any blow­back.

“Has that been dif­fi­cult for you per­son­ally, and have you felt any dif­fi­cul­ties as a re­sult of be­ing out­spo­ken about Chi­nese po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence?”

Her out­spo­ken­ness be­came ex­tremely public af­ter she pub­lished in Septem­ber a “Magic Weapons” pa­per us­ing New Zealand as a case study in ex­plain­ing China's ex­tra-state ex­er­tion of in­flu­ence.

The pa­per high­lighted a river of cam­paign do­na­tions to gov­ern­ing par­ties, and how a clus­ter of for­mer se­nior politi­cians — in­clud­ing for­mer prime min­is­ters and may­ors — and fam­ily mem­bers of cur­rent gov­ern­ment min­is­ters had been ap­pointed to boards of state-owned Chi­nese banks, com­pa­nies and think tanks.

The re­search prompted Win­ston Peters, then on the cam­paign trail as leader of New Zealand First, to call for an in­quiry.

Brady was speak­ing to a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee con­sid­er­ing that leg­is­la­tion.

The NZ po­lice, cit­ing com­plaint pri­vacy, de­clined to an­swer ques­tions about Brady's break-ins.

Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice di­rec­tor Re­becca Kit­teridge said she could not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases.

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