China PM fires back at N.Y. Times article

Oct. 28, 2012 at 10:52 AM
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HONG KONG, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Lawyers for Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao issued a statement disputing a New York Times report on his family's reputed fortune.

The lawyers' statement, published in The South China Morning Post, threatened to sue the Times for its story, which contended Wen's family controlled assets values at around $2.7 billion.

The Times said Sunday it stands by its reporting and noted the statement by Wen's lawyers did not directly dispute its story -- although it insisted Wen did not directly take part in family business interests and did not use his office for personal benefit.

"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 statement from the Beijing law firm said.

The Times also noted Wen's retort was a rare instance of a Chinese leader responding directly to a foreign news report.

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