Canadian Intelligence Warns Chinese Influence in NZ Threatens Intelligence-Sharing

China’s influence in New Zealand is so extensive that it threatens the traditionally close intelligence contacts between New Zealand and its Western allies, according to a report written by the Canadian spy agency.

Since World War II, New Zealand has been a member of what is sometimes referred to as the UK-USA Security Agreement. Known also as the UKUSA Agreement or the Five Eyes alliance, the pact, which was strengthened in 1955, provides a multilateral framework for intelligence cooperation between the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. But a new report produced by Canadian intelligence warns that Chinese political and economic influence in New Zealand is making it difficult for the Pacific Ocean island country to continue to operate within the framework of the agreement.

The report, entitled China and the Age of Strategic Rivalry, was authored by experts at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). It contains a summary of views expressed by participants at an academic outreach workshop that was organized in Canada by the CSIS. In a section focusing on Chinese “interference in democratic systems”, the report suggests that, despite its small size, New Zealand is “valuable to China […] as a soft underbelly through which to access Five Eyes intelligence”. In recent years, claims the report, Beijing has adopted “an aggressive strategy” that has sought to co-opt political and economic elites in New Zealand as a means of influencing political decision making in the country. As part of that process, China seeks to gain advantages in trade and business negotiations, suppress negative views of China, facilitate espionage and control the views of the Chinese expatriate community in New Zealand, according to the report. Ultimately, Beijing seeks to “extricate New Zealand from […] its traditional [military and intelligence] partners]” as a means of asserting its regional and —eventually— global influence, the report concludes.

In a separate but connected development, it emerged this week that China expert Peter Mattis told an American Congressional committee last month that New Zealand’s position in the Five Eyes alliance was tenuous due to China’s influence. Mattis, a former China analyst for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, was speaking before the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a group of experts that advise the US Congress. He told the Commission that the influence of the Chinese Communist Party in New Zealand is so deep that it raises questions about whether the Pacific Ocean country can continue to share intelligence with the other members of the Five Eyes alliance.

On Wednesday, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern emphatically dismissed questions about her country’s role in the Five Eyes alliance. She told reporters in Wellington that the issue of New Zealand’s Five Eyes membership had “never been raised” with her “or anyone else” by Five Eyes partners. Ardern added that her government received its information “from official channels, not opinions expressed at a workshop”.


via Chinese influence in New Zealand threatens intelligence-sharing, says Canadian report

8 thoughts on “Canadian Intelligence Warns Chinese Influence in NZ Threatens Intelligence-Sharing

  1. NZ activists have been trying to extricate New Zealand from the Five Eyes spy network (and shut down the US spy base in the South Island) for years. China has been NZ’s major trading partner since I have lived here. It’s the NSA, not China, that funds an intelligence position in Wellington and exerts major political pressure on NZ foreign policy. It’s about time this came out in the open.


  2. “Capitalist” David Rockefeller started It through Kissinger, Nixon, Bush, and others with the intention of bringing the United States and the rest of the world under global tyranny.


  3. It use to be the 5 eyes country’s would spy on each other to circumvent the constitution of each country,it looks to me nothing has changed with Canada spying on NZ and NZ spying on rest.


  4. And spying on civilian activists, gerry. We have received Freedom of Information documents that the NZ government is hiring private security companies to spy on us (Climate Justice Taranaki) because we are fighting the frackinga activities of foreign oil companies.


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