China Blocks NY Times Site for 'Smearing' Leader
Report on Wen Jiabao's wealth angers Beijing
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 26, 2012 9:04 AM CDT
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks during an EU-China summit in Brussels, Sept. 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

(Newser) – China has blocked the New York Times' website and all searches for "New York Times" on microblogs, accusing it of smearing Wen Jiabao with a story about the immense wealth his family has amassed during his reign as prime minister. A foreign ministry spokesman said the report "blackens China's name and has ulterior motives," the Guardian reports. While China's elite have long heard rumors about Wen's family, the scale of the Times story was shocking, and deeply embarrassing to Wen, the government's populist face.

There's some indication that Wen might not be as guilty as it appears; one US cable from 2007, released along with the Wikileaks cache, quotes a Shanghai executive as saying, "Wen is disgusted with his family's activities, but is either unable or unwilling to curtail them." And the Times report included a quote from a former colleague saying that such problems were rampant among China's senior leadership. "His enemies are intentionally trying to smear him by letting this leak out."

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Oct 27, 2012 9:43 AM CDT
meet wen jiabao, the billionare ruler of a self proclaimed communist country running a sort of early capitalism integrated by the finest means of totalitarism.
Oct 27, 2012 9:42 AM CDT
The same corrupt leader that Obama bowed his head to like a scolded Chinese lap dog. And a President of these United States at that. The most powerful country in the world. He should have been impeached for that alone. We don't defer to any country. Even the smallest and weakest countries in the world have leaders that do not bow their heads in submission to the Chinese. They stand straight and proud and stare them in the eye. He's an insult to the office of the President.
Oct 26, 2012 12:52 PM CDT
They're going to have to block just about every English-language news site there is, this story is everywhere.