China dismisses Pulitzer Prize for NYT story on Wen`s wealth

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 20:44

Beijing: China on Tuesday dismissed the Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times story as a report published with "ulterior motives", which had accused former premier Wen Jiabao and his family of amassing a USD 2.7 billion wealth.

"Our position towards this issue is very clear. We believe the relevant report by the New York Times reporter is with ulterior motives," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in reaction to the Pulitzer Prize award to the NYT story.

The story, published in October last year ahead of the once-in-a decade leadership change in China, alleged close relatives of Wen have made billions of dollars in business dealings during his tenure, politically damaging the former premier and denting his image as a humble leader.

The NYT, however, claimed that the story was an outcome of careful scrutiny of a host of documents of assets of Wen`s family, specially his geologist wife Zhang Beili who ran a successful diamond business prospering during his decade long tenure.

Wen and his family denied the allegation and threatened to take legal action against NYT but remained silent so far.
Today`s rebuttal by the Foreign Ministry repeating the same allegation against NYT was seen as an endorsement of the previous government`s policy by the new leadership headed by President Xi Jinping standing by 70 year old Wen, who retired in March this year.
The Pulitzer board yesterday noted the reporting was accomplished "in the face of heavy pressure" from Chinese officials and called it a "striking exposure".

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 20:43

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