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  • Aug 1, 2014
  • Updated: 2:21pm

Wen Jiabao

Premier of China between 2003 and 2013, Wen Jiabao served as vice-premier between 1998 and 2002. Wen, who was born in 1942, spent 14 years working in Gansu province’s geological bureau before being promoted in 1982 to vice-minister of geology and mineral resources. Wen graduated from the Beijing Institute of Geology in 1968 and has a master’s degree in geology. He was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee between 2002 and 2012. 

 

NewsChina
POLITICS

Article on 'humble' Wen reappears amid rumours he is next graft target

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2014, 4:51am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2014, 4:58pm

A lengthy article about former premier Wen Jiabao's family roots written more than a decade ago has reappeared on the website of the Communist Party's mouthpiece.

The move is seen as an attempt by Wen to clear his name amid speculation he will become the next target of the leadership's anti-corruption drive.

The article originally appeared in a magazine on the party's history in 2003, soon after Wen began his first term as premier, and was reposted to the website of the People's Daily yesterday.

The article gives a detailed account of the Wen family, conveying the impression of his humble upbringing.

It tells how Wen was sent to Jiuquan , in Gansu province, during the Cultural Revolution and returned to Beijing in 1982.

It said Wen was constantly reminded by his uncle Wen Pengjiu, a former Foreign Ministry official, that his mission was to ensure that all Chinese had enough food, and to build China into a prosperous nation.

Wen was quoted as saying in the article of his maiden press conference as premier in March 2003 that he was merely a "common" person who had seen hardship during his upbringing.

The reposting of the article came two days after the publication in Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao of a letter written by Wen to Ng Hon-mun, a former local deputy to the National People's Congress, in which Wen insisted on his innocence and integrity.

In the letter, dated December 27, Wen said he had never abused his power for personal gain.

The former premier has faced mounting pressure over allegations about his family's wealth at a time when another former member of the party's supreme Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang , is at the centre of a wide-ranging probe into corruption. Dozens of Zhou's former aides and associates are being investigated after President Xi Jinping launched a massive anti-graft campaign that has targeted progressively senior officials.

The reputation of Wen, who retired last March, was brought into question after The New York Times reported in October 2012 that his family and relatives had amassed US$2.7 billion of hidden assets during his leadership.

"The publication of the letter and reposting of the article is an attempt to deliver a message that Wen is being smeared and that he is not involved in any scam," said Gu Su , professor of political science at Nanjing University. "It seems Wen believes he is under attack, and wants to hit back."

Zhang Lifan, a Beijing-based commentator, said the development showed Wen "is very worried about his reputation and is eager to clear himself when the anti-corruption drive gets running".

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This article is now closed to comments

BabyMan
If the PRC says it wants to clean house then why bar the NYT?
chuchu59
Regardless of whether Wen is innocent or not it is imperative that Xi finds it necessary to conduct investigations on high-profile personalities. Not only were they high-ranking. Nobody can be safe even after they retire thus deterring officials from being too corrupt. Beijing could well contact the ICAC to learn a few tricks from them.
daily
I sure hope President Xi does his anti-corruption investigation on Wen and punish him in the same way as all the other corrupted officials...........
chaz_hen
Should have had tighter control over the family. Especially that wife of his...
norodnik
"Augustus seduced the army with bonuses, and his cheap food policy was successful bait for civilians. Indeed, he attracted everybody’s goodwill by the enjoyable gift of peace. Then he gradually pushed ahead and absorbed the functions of the senate, the officials, and even the law. Opposition did not exist. War or judicial murder had disposed of all men of spirit. Upper-class survivors found that slavish obedience was the way to succeed, both politically and financially. They had profited from the revolution [the replacement of the republic by an imperial form of government], and so now they liked the security of the existing arrangement better than the dangerous uncertainties of the old regime. Besides,the new order was popular in the provinces. There, government by Senate and People was looked upon skeptically as a matter of sparring dignitaries and extortionate officials. The legal system had provided no remedy against these, since it was wholly incapacitated by violence, favouritism, and—most of all—bribery. …" - Tacitus
XYZ
I'm sure Mr. Wen and his family are as pure as the driven snow.
ejmciii
I am sure that as soon as the Communist Party whitewash is completed they will be as white as snow. Would be interesting if Xi was really ruthless enough to gut Wen like a trout to establish there are no challengers to his throne.
 
 
 
 
 

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