A State-Run Chinese Newspaper Faked An Op-Ed Under An American Journalist's Name


Peter Hessler

Wikimedia Commons

In early January, New Yorker writer Peter Hessler sat down with a reporter from China Daily for an interview.


Weeks later, an editorial appeared in the publication bearing his name - but he didn't write it, he says.

The editorial, entitled "U.S. Observer: Comparing Egypt with China," took a pro-Beijing standpoint, according to the New York Times.

"I think I have a better understanding of how essentially stable the Chinese system is," not-Hessler wrote.

Referencing the social unrest of the Arab Spring in Egypt, the piece argued China could better handle a similar situation. It also praised China's education system, The Telegraph reports.


As Hessler tells it, the original interview, in conjunction with Li Xueshun, a former colleague os his, included a question about the comparing Egypt to China. China Daily's piece focused on Hessler's response but "omitted crucial parts" as well as any additional thoughts from Xueshun. It all, however, appeared under Hessler's sole byline.

The publication has apparently removed the editorial but hasn't issued a retraction, which Hessler says he requested.

"I want to emphasize that this article does not in any way represent a comprehensive picture of my views on China and Egypt, and I never would have agreed to such a story," Hessler explained in a Facebook post on January 20.

Here's his full statement:

Hessler lived in China for many years and served as The New Yorker's correspondent there from 2000 to 2007. In 2011, he moved to Egypt, where he still resides. He has written several books on both on China and Egypt.