Julie Bishop interview that 'never happened'

Listen to the comments that China says Foreign Minister Julie Bishop never made.
On Monday, China’s most popular tabloid, The Global Times, blasted Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop as a “complete fool” for telling Fairfax Media that she would stand up to China in defence of Australian values.
Ms Bishop's comments were originally published in Thursday's The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
However, late on Tuesday night, on the eve of China’s highest-ranking general arriving to meet Australia’s top brass
and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
denied that Ms Bishop said any of those offending remarks at all.

Australia foreign minister Julie Bishop: Beijing now suggests her comments made to Fairfax which drew a sharp rebuke in Chinese media were bogus.
Australia foreign minister Julie Bishop: Beijing now
suggests her comments made to Fairfax which drew a sharp rebuke in
Chinese media were bogus. Photo: Ken Irwin

In a remarkable statement provided in Q&A form, the ministry’s spokesman, Hong Lei, suggested that it was Australian diplomats who had informed them that the interview was bogus: 
Question: Australian media, such as The Age
carried reports on remarks made by the Australian Foreign Minister
Julie Bishop in an interview. She said that China does not respect
weakness, adding that Australia should stand up to China. What is
China's comment on that?
Answer: The
Australian side has clarified that with the Chinese side through
diplomatic channel, saying that the Australian Foreign Minister has
never made ... such remarks.
official denial claimed by China clashes with the on-the-record
comments made by Ms Bishop to Fairfax, which were recorded during the
interview. The contradiction appears to be a combination of eagerness on
both sides to smooth the relations combined with an old-fashion
diplomatic botch-up.
the Chinese government's denial that the internationally controversial
interview never actually happened, the denial was immediately reported
by state news agency Xinhua and party-mouthpiece The China Daily
and circulated widely on social media. The Xinhua story ran under the
headline 'Australia denies willingness to confront China'. 
The English-language editorial criticising Ms Bishop in The Global Times remains online, as well. The "complete fool" description was in the Chinese version, which also remains online.
Neither Ms Bishop nor her office have raised any queries about the report in question. 
source of the mystery may lie in an interaction that took place between
senior diplomats at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade (DFAT) on Thursday.
is understood that the Chargé d'affaires at the Chinese embassy, Xue
Bing, was told that “the minister could not have said those things, or
words to that effect”.
Monday, Fairfax attempted to clarify this exchange by contacting the
head of DFAT’s North Asia desk, Peter Rowe. It received this
departmental statement, instead: “Senior departmental and Chinese
Embassy officials held a routine meeting late last week. The discussions
were cordial and useful.”
Following are excerpts from the interview recordings:
Bishop: China doesn’t, China doesn’t respect weakness.
Garnaut: That’s interesting, you think you lost nothing from that?
Bishop: No. 
Garnaut: The idea that "we have to choose" has been proved wrong?
Bishop: Absolutely.
Garnaut: I
look at all these dynamics, I look at ... Australia’s been very
instrumental in tightening security relationships, intelligence sharing,
with Japan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, you know,
it’s all there, and that’s partly in response to the possibility of
conflicts going wrong with China.
Well, we’re pragmatic and we’re realistic. We know that the optimum is
deeper engagement ... but we’re also clear-eyed about what could go
wrong. And so you have to hope for the best but manage for the worst.
I feel that under the previous governments (Rudd/Gillard/Rudd) there
was a level of incoherence about Australian foreign policy.  And there
were not clear statements of where Australia stood on particular
matters. And I was determined to ensure that Australia’s foreign policy
was well understood and it was predictable in the sense that if an issue
occurred people knew where Australia would stand on it.
I don’t mean predictable in a sense that you would always know what Australia is going to do.
just meant that when it came to our values, and our beliefs, we were
true to them. So I think that foreign policy under the Coalition is
designed to project and protect our reputation as an open market export
oriented economy; and so all we do and say supports those values we have
on the economic front, and our values as an open liberal democracy
committed to rule of law, committed to freedoms, and committed to
international norms and being a respected international player. So, when
something affects our national interest then we should make it very
clear about where we stand and not be ambiguous.