China blocks New York Times website over report on wealth amassed by family of premier Wen Jiabao
China has denounced a report in The New York Times detailing the vast riches accumulated by Premier Wen Jiabao’s family, and today it blocked the newspaper’s English and Chinese language websites.
The report, weeks before Mr Wen is due to stand down, claims his extended family has acquired £1.68bn through a network of investments since he came to power in 2002.
“Some reports blacken China and have ulterior motives,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. Asked about the decision to block the website, the spokesman said the internet in China was managed “in accordance with laws”.
Mr Wen, who will step down on 8 November at the 18th Communist Party Congress, has cultivated an image as a grandfatherly figure who has the feelings of ordinary Chinese close to his heart, and the report is a blow to this reputation.
“Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership,” the paper said.
“A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the prime minister’s relatives – some of whom, including his wife, have a knack for aggressive deal making – have controlled assets worth at least $2.7bn,” it said.
The report outlined how business ventures linked to Mr Wen’s family were sometimes funded by state-owned enterprises, such as the phone company China Mobile, and from some of the richest people in Asia. The family also built up holdings in property companies, jewellery companies, banks and insurance companies.
The exposé follows a story by the financial news agency Bloomberg in June saying that the country’s anointed leader Xi Jinping owned companies worth £240m, and had an 18 per cent indirect stake in a rare-earths firm with £1.1bn and a £13m stake in a technology company.
The report does not make a link between Mr Wen and the policy decisions he has made over the years, but it does say that in some cases his relatives have tried to profit from opportunities made possible by those decisions.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...