• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:18am

China blocks foreign news sites that reported on elite’s offshore holdings

Foreign ministry questions motive behind articles about elite's hidden wealth in British Virgin Islands as media websites appear inaccessible

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 January, 2014, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 January, 2014, 5:45pm

China on Saturday continued to block news sites that revealed the offshore holdings of relatives of top leaders, after a foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing suggesting “unconvincing” articles may have ulterior motives.

The reports, by the Guardian and others, based on leaked financial documents, showed that the brother-in-law of the president, Xi Jinping, and the son and son-in-law of the former premier Wen Jiabao were among more than a dozen family members of current or former leaders using offshore companies in the Caribbean.

Websites of the Guardian and other media organisations that ran the story appeared wholly or partially inaccessible in China; the site of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which obtained the British Virgin Islands leaks, seemed entirely blocked.

Speaking earlier at a regular foreign ministry briefing in Beijing, spokesman Qin Gang told reporters: “I am not aware of the specific circumstances. From the point of view of readers, the logic of some of the related articles is unconvincing, and it leads people to suspect the intentions behind it.”

Asked if the government would follow up on the information in the reports, he said he had already answered questions, adding an idiom often translated as: “The innocent are innocent, even if they do not defend themselves; the impure will be impure, even if they do.”

Repeated attempts to access the Guardian’s story from China failed without a virtual private network. Some attempts to reach the site’s front page were successful, and there was intermittent access to other pages.

Qin said: “Relevant departments of China carry out management of the internet in accordance with laws and regulations.”

Earlier this month, the Guardian was briefly partially blocked before becoming accessible again.

The report that more than 21,000 clients from China and Hong Kong have made use of the Caribbean offshore havens is the latest revelation in a two-year initiative by the ICIJ, which has shared the leaked data from two companies in the British Virgin Islands with the Guardian and other international news organisations.

The website of the Spanish newspaper El Pais, another of the media partners, appeared to be inaccessible. The ICIJ’s Sina Weibo microblog account was disabled. Some users posted the Chinese-language version of the report without commenting on it.

The wealth of Chinese officials and their families has become a subject of growing interest, particularly in light of Xi’s campaign for austerity and against corruption since becoming leader.

Chinese activists whose campaigns have included a push for financial transparency, with street protests calling on officials to declare their assets, have faced a punishing crackdown.



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Corruption is the true nature of the blood-thirsty Chinese Communist Party. It offers its people no human rights whatsoever. Since 1949 the CCP has murdered over fifty million of its own people and since 1999, it has been attempting the cruel genocide of the tens of millions of innocent Falun Gong practitioners who live in Mainland China. This genocide consists of such atrocities as torture, slavery, organ harvesting and murder. Just recently an eighteen month old baby was strung up by the ankles with piano wire, in front of its mother, to try to force her to denounce her faith. Another young, pregnant practitioner was put in a prison cell with four hardened criminals who were ordered by the heinous Party to rape her. Western media never informs of us these atrocities because of corporate greed. Recently, the weak U.N. appointed the monstrous CCP a seat on its Human Rights Council. Shameful ! This the truth concerning the bruutal CCP. Thank you for your concern.
Why is this news? We know that all those reports are just the western media trying to challenge the rule of the Glorious Communist Party which is ordained by the mandate of heaven. Glory be to the Party and all bow down before Mao and his brilliance.
Chinese slang: 欲蓋彌彰


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