Chinese Prime Minster Wen Jiabao has directly responded (through lawyers) to the New York Times' report about his family's "hidden riches" for the first time, and he's threatening legal action. Lawyers representing Jiabao printed his official response in the South China Morning Post and the Sing Tao Daily, two of the country's top papers. His lawyers call the Times' report "untrue" and claim the wealth accumulated by the Prime Minister's family "does not exist." It doesn't indicate whether legal action is coming, but Jiabao "reserves the right to hold [the Times] legally responsible."
The New York Times printed an explosive report on Jiabao earlier this week alleging that his family, particularly his mother and son, have accumulated $2.3 billion in wealth behind the scenes since he took over as the country's leader. This directly contradicts the reputation Jiabao has cultivated since taking power. He's seen as a fighter of corruption and as "the people's premier." China blocked the Times' english and Chinese websites because of the story.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.