China quickly distanced itself from a stinging attack on George W Bush by Qian Qichen, the former vice-premier and foreign minister, published Monday in China Daily ahead of this week's US presidential election. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said the ministry had "clarified" Qian's remarks with US officials, insisting Qian did not write "any article for the China Daily". It turns out the piece, which accused Bush of fomenting a policy of world domination, was first published in Study Times, a weekly put out by China's Central Communist Party School, then republished in English apparently without Qian's consent. While standard practice for the paper to lift material previously published in other state media without author consent, China Daily conceded its timing could have been better.
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