China: Wen Jiabao calls for party probe into ‘hidden fortune’

Wen Jiabao

SCMP reports: “Premier requests top-level inquiry into claims of US$2.7b assets and is reported to be pushing for long-overdue ‘sunshine law‘ to be put into effect

“The communist party leadership has launched a probe into the alleged family wealth of Wen Jiabao at the premier’s request, according to sources.

“In a letter submitted to the Politburo Standing Committee, the party’s top decision-making body of which the premier is also a member, Wen asked for a formal inquiry into claims made by The New York Times.”

“According to the sources, several conservative party elders known to dislike the premier’s more liberal stance have urged him to provide detailed explanations on all the major allegations in the Times report, especially on the Ping An holdings.

“Businesswoman Duan Weihong, whose company Taihong was described by the Times as the investment vehicle for the Wen family, told the newspaper she used the names of Wen’s relatives to register the ownership of the Ping An shares.

“The party elders argued that this process, which would require registering their official ID numbers and obtaining their signatures, raised immediate questions about how Duan could obtain such personal details without consent from the Wen family.

“Wen’s wife and his son have been plagued by corruption allegations for years.

“But the family issued a statement, through two lawyers, for the first time on October 27, hitting back at the Times allegations about their ‘hidden riches’ and threatening legal action.

“It is unclear whether the family will publish further clarifications or go to the courts.”

“According to their reports, Wen had seized the opportunity to demand that a long-overdue ‘sunshine law’ – which would require a public declaration of family assets by senior leaders – be finally put into effect.

“He also said he would be happy to make public his family’s assets.

“This would appear to be more than just an attempt by the image-conscious outgoing premier to defend his name, analysts say.”

Source: SCMP “Premier Wen Jiabao calls for party probe into claims of family’s ‘hidden fortune'”
 


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