National Party MP Jian Yang admits training spies

National Party MP Dr Jian Yang has admitted training Chinese spies so they could monitor other countries' communications - but refused to say whether this included New Zealand.

Dr Yang spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, after allegations he had studied and taught at an alleged spy school before moving to New Zealand.

He denied ever being a spy and denied ever having intelligence training, but admitted teaching students English to help them with their spying activities.

"If you define those cadets as spies then I was teaching spies yes," he said.

On Wednesday, Newsroom reported Dr Yang had studied and taught at the People's Liberation Army-Air Force Engineering College. He also spent time at the Luoyang Language Institute, run by the Third Department, which carries out spying activities for China.

Sources told Newsroom this meant Dr Yang would have been a member of the Communist Party and an officer in the Chinese army's military intelligence.

However Dr Yang denies passing on any information to China during his time in New Zealand.

"I've been very active in promoting a relationship, everyone knows that," he said.

"I can understand people can be concerned, because they do not understand Chinese system, but once they understand the system they should be assured this is nothing really you should be concerned about."

Newsroom reports that New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service has taken an interest in Dr Yang, and has been investigating his background.

However Dr Yang said there was no basis to the allegations against him.

"I refute any allegations that question my loyalty to New Zealand. I have been nothing but upfront and transparent about my education and employment," he said in a media statement.

"Although I was not born here, I am proud to call myself a New Zealander, obey our laws, and contribute to this country.

"I challenge those who are propagating these defamatory statements to front up and prove them.

"This is a smear campaign by nameless people who are out to damage me and the National Party 10 days from an election, just because I am Chinese."