Chinese blame officials' data

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PEKING - China yesterday criticised local officials who fake statistics to gain privileges and promotion, hide their mistakes or obtain relief funds to which they are not entitled. In an angry front-page editorial, the People's Daily said the worsening phenomenon was damaging relations between the government and the people and cutting off national leaders from reality.

It said the main culprits were leaders of rural areas who inflated industrial production or concealed the real increases in population and the extent of capital investment. Reuter