National MP Jian Yang invited to attend Chinese Communist Party's 70th anniversary parade

A National MP was invited to attend the Chinese Community Party's (CCP) 70th anniversary parade in Beijing this week, where the country's military might was shown off. 

Dr Jian Yang, a Member of Parliament for National since 2011, was one of 50 New Zealanders - according to National - who were invited to attend the anniversary celebrations in the Chinese capital. 

A National Party spokesperson said Dr Yang paid for his own flights and accommodation in Beijing, and is also planning to visit his parents during his trip. 

Dr Yang was required to notify the party's Whips - Barbara Kuriger, Matt Doocey and Tim van de Molen - about his trip during the two-week Parliament recess. 

The invitation is considered an honour. 

The National list MP's latest trip follows another one about a month ago, with leader Simon Bridges, whose interview with Chinese state media was described by Deputy PM Winston Peters as "subservient grovelling". 

Bridges raised eyebrows after meeting with Guo Shengkun in Beijing at the time, who is responsible for China's Ministry of State Security (MSS), described as a combination of the CIA and FBI. 

Dr Yang's ties to the CCP raised concerns in 2017 when he confirmed he had been a member of the party, and admitted training Chinese spies so they could monitor other countries' communications. 

He once taught at the People's Liberation Army-Air Force Engineering College, and spent time at the Luoyang Language Institute, run by the Third Department, which carries out spying activities for China.

Dr Yang denied ever being a spy and denied ever having intelligence training. 

It was later revealed he did not disclose his links to the schools in his citizenship applications and instead described them as "partner" universities who had a relationship with military institutions. 

It was reported at the time the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) had already been keeping an eye on the MP before the revelations. 

Dr Yang was also cited in Canterbury University Professor Anne-Marie Brady's 2017 paper Magic Weapons, in which she noted how a CCP member will rarely cut ties. 

"Once someone is accepted into the CCP (which involves an extremely rigorous two-year supervision process), regardless of how an individual may feel, they are always regarded as a Party member; unless they are officially expelled from the CCP."

The event Dr Yang is attending marks the anniversary of the 1949 founding of the People's Republic of China by former leader Mao Zedong, following a civil war. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who commands the ruling Communist Party's military, the People's Liberation Army, was seen at the celebrations on Tuesday in a limousine amongst missiles atop trucks and armoured personnel. 

President Xi is effectively allowed to remain in power for life after China's Congress passed a constitutional change last year to remove the two-term limit on the presidency. 

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China has about 280 nuclear warheads compared to the United States' 6450. 

China is New Zealand's largest export destination following the signing of a 2008 bilateral Free Trade Agreement. 

It accounts for nearly $NZ15.3 billion and 24 percent of total exports.