BEIJING Oct 28 Lawyers representing the family
of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao have rejected claims made by the
New York Times on Friday that they have accumulated at least
$2.7 billion in "hidden riches", Hong Kong media reported on
The New York Times, citing corporate and regulatory records,
reported on Friday that Wen's mother, siblings and children had
amassed the majority of their wealth since Wen was named Vice
Premier in 1998.
In a statement issued late on Saturday and carried by Hong
Kong television as well as the South China Morning Post and Sing
Tao Daily newspapers, Bai Tao of the Junhe Law Office and Wang
Weidong of the Grandall Law Firm said the wealth "does not
They also denied that Wen had acted improperly or engaged in
business activities himself, and said his relatives had not
profited in any way from his tenure as premier and had no
influence on Wen's "formulation and execution of policies".
The statement said Wen's mother had never received any
income or property apart from her salary and pension.
Telephone calls made to the law firms by Reuters were not
The Times' report said the names of family members "have
been hidden behind layers of partnerships and investment
vehicles involving friends, work colleagues and business
It said his family's holdings include a Beijing villa
development project, a tyre factory in northern China, a company
involved in building some of the venues for Beijing's 2008
Olympics including the "Bird's Nest" main stadium, and Ping An
Insurance, one of the world's largest financial services
The New York Times report came at a sensitive time for
Beijing, with China about to undergo a once-in-a-decade change
of leadership in which Wen will step down as premier.
The newspaper's websites in English and Chinese were
immediately blocked in China, and searches for the New York
Times as well as the names of Wen's children and wife were
blocked on China's main Twitter-like microblog service.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily briefing on
Friday that the report "smears China's name and has ulterior