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Chinese Premier hit by wealth scandal

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Chinese Premier hit by wealth scandal


The New York Times says Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s family has accumulated huge wealth during his time in power. The paper claims partnerships linked to Wen’s relatives have controlled assets of at least 2 billion euros.

Wen’s image has been built on his humble roots and compassion for ordinary people. But The Times alleges his family and friends have held significant corporate holdings, including more than 1.5 billion euros worth of stock in the Ping An Insurance Company.

The paper, which based its findings on corporate records, claims Wen’s wife, siblings and children have amassed most of their wealth since he became vice premier in 1998. He became leader five years later.

The government has hit back at the allegations. Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hong Lei said, “The report attempts to blacken China’s name and has ulterior motives.”

The New York Times websites have been blocked to internet users in China, where the private lives of leaders are considered state secrets. The paper says it presented its findings to the Chinese government ahead of publication, but did not receive any comment.

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