Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jenny Shipley has denied writing a pro-China opinion piece attributed to her, according to a report published by The Guardian on Wednesday.
The op-ed, titled "We need to listen to China," was published earlier this week by the People's Daily — the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. A note at the bottom of the piece said unambiguously that it was authored by the former prime minister.
The article itself sang the praises of Chinese efforts on poverty reduction and gender equality, and it applauded the Belt and Road Initiative — an investment campaign introduced by China as a way to create a vast global infrastructure network inextricably tied to the country.
The piece bearing Shipley's byline was the most-read article on the paper's website on Wednesday, according to The Guardian. However, the former prime minister said the story was artificially constructed from an interview she did with a different Chinese state-run newspaper last year, according to comments reported by CNN.