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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Red flagged

NZ Herald:

Labour MP Shane Jones says he granted citizenship to Chinese businessman William Yan on 'humanitarian grounds' and would be relaxed about having that decision tested to see if the Yan really was "a Hannibal Lecter immigration applicant."
Mr Jones broke his silence on his 2008 decision yesterday after Yan's trial in the Auckland High Court wound up yesterday.
Yan - also known as Yang, or Bill, Liu and Yong Ming Yan - was on trial in the High Court at Auckland after pleading not guilty to four charges relating to false declarations on immigration papers in 2001 and 2002 and one of using false written statements to get citizenship. The Court is expected to make a reserved judgement on Thursday.
Mr Jones said he knew there were issues about the multiple identities Yan had and the Interpol red notice about an arrest warrant for Yan in China.

The central issue with anyone from China is that in the totalitarian, one party, communist-run People's Republic the only people allowed to leave the country, allowed to succeed in business or a profession, or allowed to have more than one child, are likely to be people connected to the government and the ruling party. Other countries with similar one party type crony capitalist systems, like Russia for example, also beg the same question of their emigrants and "investors".  The same awkward, "how did you get where you are today and why do you deserve to be here?" question could also be directed at the past beneficiaries of such governments, like the white South Africans who have taken the accumulated wealth and advantages of 400 years of slavery and Apartheid and have cashed out and left. Fortunately for these people the NZ Immigration Service seems to operate on a no questions asked basis.

That Jones did not take the advice of officials (in declining citizenship) is not so damaging or incriminating so long as he can give an account of the powerful and persuasive counter facts put up from independent sources. Problem is the only counter advice was from Yan/Liu's own lawyer and from his Labour MP colleagues (who must have been aware of his support financial support for the party). I take it there would have been no such independent advice outside of the alarming reports from other agencies that Immigration had raised. Jones hasn't answered these issues and he's stuck unless he starts to drag others in.

As for the "humanitarian" rubric employed by Jones to defend his decision - well, God loves a trier, but exactly how much will the voting public and Labour's leadership put up with?


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