“China has actively signed free trade agreements with neighbors and other countries in and out of the region, aiming to find out ways to work together,” Shipley said in the article, headlined “We need to learn to listen to China.”
She also praised Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Belt and Road initiative that aims to reshape global trade through huge infrastructure projects across multiple continents. Shipley called the plan “one of the greatest ideas we’ve ever heard globally” with the potential “to create the next wave of economic growth.”
While the People’s Daily identified Shipley as the author of the piece, in an email to CNN, Shipley said it was based on an interview she gave to another Chinese state-run newspaper last year, and not written by her.
Shipley said she made the comments during a visit to China in December for the 40th anniversary of reform and opening. “As part of this visit a number of leaders including myself were interviewed by the China Daily and this subsequent feature article was written and published without further reference to me,” the former prime minister said.
Asked whether the comments attributed to her were correct, Shipley confirmed they were.
She denied reports that New Zealand exports were facing delays entering China, or that Kiwi ministers were struggling to get visas to visit the country.
Industry executives and analysts say that the US pressure on Huawei risks delaying the rollout of 5G networks in key markets because the company is way ahead of its rivals in developing the technology.
“The GCSB have raised concerns, that is in the public domain, they have gone back to Spark with those concerns, now the ball is in Spark’s court, that is literally where the process sits,” Ardern said.
“The practice is called ‘using foreign strength to propagandise for China,'” Brady wrote.
This piece has been updated to reflect Shipley’s account of how and when the comments published in the People’s Daily were made.