Global academics urge NZ Government to take urgent action on Anne-Marie Brady-China case

Nearly 200 overseas experts have signed an open letter to the New Zealand Government urging action over China's alleged involvement in a series of criminal acts against a Kiwi academic.

Anne-Marie Brady, a scholar of Chinese politics and University of Canterbury professor, has been subjected to burglaries of her home and office, and more recently suspected tampering to her car, since the publication of her 2017 paper Magic Weapons.

Magic Weapons describes the use of United Front, a Chinese Government group aimed at promoting the policies and ideals of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to control outside forces. Ms Brady also provided recommendations on how the New Zealand government could deal with the CCP's political influence in the paper.

According to the letter, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and Interpol have been investigating the burglaries, some of which are in "ways consistent with intentional sabotage".

The letter, published by Chinese studies website Sinopsis, said the New Zealand Government has been too "slow to take action and failed to acknowledge that a problem exists".

It said Ms Brady has been requesting additional police and SIS protection for months, but nothing had been done.

Anne-Marie Brady told Newshub that she was amazed by the support from those who had signed the letter.

"It's a really amazing list of people who are standing up to be counted and that's really important right now," she said.

"The actions against me are not just to intimidate me, they're meant to scare other academics who work on China and to scare them off from speaking up."

She said now the New Zealand Government needs to address concerns about China's political influence under their leader Xi Jinping.

"The international attention is growing that New Zealand does not appear to be addressing these concerns."

The letter urges New Zealand authorities to "grant Professor Brady the necessary protection to allow her to continue her research".

"Send a clear signal to fellow researchers that independent inquiry can be protected in democratic societies and conducted without fear of retribution.

"Now's the time to remember the ANZAC spirit and be courageous and stand up for the principles and the values of New Zealand society."