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Chinese Premier’s Family Deny “Hidden Wealth” Report

RIA Novosti

13:44 28/10/2012 BEIJING, October 28 (RIA Novosti) - Lawyers for Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s family have rejected as untrue reports of the family’s “extraordinary hidden riches,” Hong Kong media said on Sunday.

The New York Times reported on Friday, citing analysis of corporate and regulatory records, that many relatives of China’s premier, including his mother, wife, son and younger brother, had become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, gaining control of assets worth at least $2.7 billion.

“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. Untangling their financial holdings provides an unusually detailed look at how politically connected people have profited from being at the intersection of government and business as state influence and private wealth converge in China’s fast-growing economy,” the paper said.

Soon after The New York Times published the story, the paper’s website in China was blocked.

Late on Saturday lawyers from the Chinese law companies Jun He Law and Grandall Law Firm issued a statement published in the South China Morning Post, which said: "The so-called 'hidden riches' of Wen Jiabao's family members in the New York Times' report does not exist.”

"Some of Wen Jiabao's family members have not engaged in business activities. Some were engaged in business activities, but they did not carry out any illegal business activity. They do not hold shares of any companies."

The statement also said: "Wen Jiabao has never played any role in the business activities of his family members, still less has he allowed his family members' business activities to have any influence on his formulation and execution of policies."

The lawyers said they would continue to "make clarifications regarding other untrue reports" by the newspaper and reserved the right to hold it "legally responsible".

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