Fingers Point to China After Break-Ins Target New Zealand Professor

Fingers Point to China After Break-Ins Target New Zealand Professor, by Charlotte Graham-McLay.

Prof. Anne-Marie Brady, a China specialist at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, said her home was burglarized in February while she and her family were out. The thief or thieves ignored a glass jar of cash and other valuables, she said, in favor of an “old, broken” laptop, on which she had conducted her most recent research, and a “cheap” cellphone the professor had used on travels to China.

Analysts said there was strong circumstantial evidence that agents of Beijing were responsible.

Peter Mattis, a former C.I.A. analyst and now a China Program fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, said the burglary, along with previous break-ins at her office, meant there was “only one likely culprit for this,” referring to China.

Ms. Brady’s high profile on matters of China’s influence worldwide meant “intimidating her into silence would in a sense be a major win” for the country, he said. …

When Ms. Brady returned home on the day of the burglary, bed covers were rumpled and papers strewn about, but her husband’s laptop was left untouched. She said that it appeared to be a “psychological operation” and the latest in a series of incidents targeting her over her work. She said her computer’s hard drive had been tampered with when she was previously in China, and that Communist Party officials questioned people she spoke with there.

Philip:

I have a few Chinese staff. When I ask them how they feel about Xi, they are visibly nervous about responding, so they don’t. ‘Intimidated’ is the word that comes to mind. They are only student/waitresses. Imagine the pressure on anyone in a key position and who still has family in China.

hat-tip Bob