Academic researching China burgled

There may be a couple of coincidences here, but this does deserve some scrutiny.

NZ Herald:  NZ academic who made headlines researching China’s influence links break-ins to her work

A New Zealand academic who made international waves researching China’s international influence campaigns has linked a number of recent break-ins to her work.

University of Canterbury professor Anne-Marie Brady, speaking today from Christchurch to the Australian Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee in Canberra, outlined three recent events which caused her concern.

“I had a break-in in my office last December. I received a warning letter, this week, that I was about to attacked. And yesterday I had a break-in at my house,” she said.

She said this weeks’ burglary at her Upper Riccarton home was particularly suspicious.

“I had three laptops – including one used for work – stolen. And phones. [Other] valuables weren’t taken. Police are now investigating that.”

Brady also said her employer at Canterbury University had been pressured following earlier work on China’s Antarctic policy and – following a recent visit to China – sources she had talked to were subjected to visits from authorities.

“People I’ve associated with in China, just last year, were questioned by the Chinese Ministry of State Security about their association with me.”

Her outspokenness became extremely public after she published in September a “Magic Weapons” paper using New Zealand as a case study in explaining China’s extra-state exertion of influence.

It looks like real cause for concern.

Contacted for comment, the police, citing complaint privacy, declined to answer questions about Brady’s break-ins.

Questions to the Security Intelligence Service were met with a statement from director Rebecca Kitteridge, who said: “I cannot comment on individual cases”.

Standard responses in the circumstances, but I hope they are having a good look at who might have been behind the thefts.