Menu
Former NZ PM denies writing article in China's official paper

Former NZ PM denies writing article in China's official paper

First-person opinion piece, headlined "We need to learn to listen to China", was published under Jenny Shipley's name on the website of the People's Daily

Credit: Dreamstime

New Zealand's former prime minister has denied writing an article attributed to her by the official newspaper of China's ruling communist party that praised the Asian giant's economic development at a time of strained ties.

The first-person opinion piece, headlined "We need to learn to listen to China", was published under Jenny Shipley's name on the website of the People's Daily on Monday.

It had become its top-read English-language story by Thursday.

"It is important for the foreign minister and prime minister and others to understand that I would never think of getting into a public situation like this, at such an important time for New Zealand's relationship," Shipley told the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

She said she had not been aware of the piece.

Shipley, who is the chairwoman of the New Zealand subsidiary of China Construction Bank, did not respond to Reuters' request for comment on Thursday.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he was unaware of the specifics of the issue, and referred questions to "the relevant Chinese media".

The People's Daily, which published a Chinese version in the newspaper's main edition on 23 January, said it was looking into the matter and declined further immediate comment.

The item provoked backlash from Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who told Radio New Zealand on Wednesday its timing was "very unwise".

An intelligence agency decision in November that rejected participation by Chinese technology giant Huawei in New Zealand's 5G network has left politicians and foreign policy analysts worried about relations with one of New Zealand's key trading partners.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's first visit to Beijing has faced scheduling issues and China last week postponed the New Zealand launch of a major tourism campaign.

Shipley said she had been interviewed by a Chinese newspaper in December for a feature article that had already been published, the New Zealand Herald said.

An article with comments on topics similar to those in Monday's piece ran last month on the website of the China Daily, a separate state-run newspaper, but was couched in the third person and put Shipley's comments in quotation marks.

Shipley was New Zealand's first female prime minister and led the country from 1997 to 1999 as head of the centre-right National Party.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard, Michael Martina and Gao Liangping in BEIJING; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Huawei5G

Featured

Slideshows

Tech industry comes out in force as Lancom turns 30

Tech industry comes out in force as Lancom turns 30

A host of leading vendors and customers came together to celebrate the birthday of Lancom Technology in New Zealand, as the technology provider turned 30.

Tech industry comes out in force as Lancom turns 30
The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Show Comments