WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A New Zealand lawmaker who was born in China says he’s loyal to his new home after media reported he’d spent a decade at top Chinese military colleges and was investigated by New Zealand’s intelligence agency.

Jian Yang said in a statement Wednesday he was proud to call himself a New Zealander and contribute to the country. He said he’d been upfront and transparent about his education and employment and was the victim of a smear campaign 10 days before national elections.

The Financial Times newspaper reported Yang spent years training and teaching at Chinese military colleges, including one where deep cover agents are trained, and had been investigated by New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service.

The intelligence service said it doesn’t comment on specific cases or individuals.