New Zealand's Trade Minister says he saw nothing to suggest his former colleague Raymond Huo had dubious links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Huo left politics ahead of the 2020 election, announcing his retirement just 11 days after another Chinese-born MP - National's Jian Yang - did the same.
According to politics news site POLITIK the retirements came after security concerns over their ties to the CCP, which rules mainland China with an iron fist. The report alleged their departures were orchestrated by the offices of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and former National Party leader Todd Muller following intelligence briefings.
Neither Ardern or current National leader Judith Collins would comment on the report, the former refusing to "confirm or deny any security briefings that we do or don't receive".
Trade Minister Damien O'Connor, tasked with improving trade between our nation and China - already our largest trading partner - said he didn't see or hear anything to suggest Huo and Dr Yang were pushed.
"Not to my knowledge. I saw the explanations given by those two MPs when they resigned. I was not aware of anything else going on in Parliament."
Huo's explanation was to spend more time with his family. Dr Yang, who was formerly a member of the CCP and a civilian officer in the military, cited a similar reason. Dr Yang said his activities with the CCP ceased in 1994.
O'Connor said Huo was a "good guy", and he had "no reason" to believe he was working for the CCP or compromised in some way.
He hadn't bothered to inquire whether the reports were true, having "plenty of other things" to keep himself busy.
Asked why Ardern hadn't expressed similar sentiments, O'Connor said that was up to her.
"I'll leave that up to the Prime Minister. You can ask her that."