China blocks New York Times website
BEIJING - The Associated Press
Reuters photoChina blocked access to The New York Times website today after the paper published a lengthy article claiming the family of Premier Wen Jiabao has amassed assets worth $2.7 billion through a web of investments, The Associated Press reported.
The report said most of Wen’s family’s wealth was accumulated after he rose to high office in 2002.
Chinese censors also blocked the Times’ Chinese-language site that carried a translated version of the story.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a press briefing that the report "blackens China and has ulterior motives." He refused to elaborate despite several follow-up questions.
Times’ spokeswoman Eileen Murphy says the paper hoped access to the sites could be restored shortly.
While Wen is expected to leave his post in the spring, the report is a blow to his reputation as a politician concerned with bettering the lives of ordinary Chinese.