New York Times reports Wen Jiabao wealth, faces ban in China



Zeenews Bureau

Washington: China has blocked the website of the New York Times after the newspaper published a probe into wealth accumulated by family members of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

As per a report on BBC, the NYT said its Chinese-language site was blocked first, followed by its English-language site.

The NYT, in its report, said relatives of Wen "have controlled assets worth at least USD 2.7 billion (GBP 1.7 billion)".

“Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, an investigation by The New York Times shows. A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the Prime Minister's relatives, some of whom have a knack for aggressive deal-making, including his wife, have controlled assets worth at least USD 2.7 billion,” the newspaper wrote.

"In many cases, the names of the relatives have been hidden behind layers of partnerships and investment vehicles involving friends, work colleagues and business partners."

The newspaper’s investigation is based on corporate records from 1992-2012.

The newspaper investigation, however, found no holdings in Wen's name, nor was it possible "to determine from the documents whether he recused himself from any decisions that might have affected his relatives' holdings, or whether they received preferential treatment on investments".

"We hope that full access is restored shortly, and we will ask the Chinese authorities to ensure that our readers in China can continue to enjoy New York Times journalism," Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said, adding that the newspaper's Chinese-language website has attracted "great interest" in China.

China is sensitive about reports on its leaders, particularly when it comes to their wealth, said the BBC.