In my post entitled Chinese censors block New York Times on October 27, I said, NYT’s report “must be well founded. Otherwise, the people who think that their worth is exaggerated will come out to reveal the true value of their assets.
“Since it is true, the Chinese authorities simply resort to wide-ranging censorship to cover it up.”
It turns out that I was wrong. Wen’s family have come out to clarify.
I have to sincerely apologize to Wen and his family for regarding the New York Times report as “well founded.”
Why do I take that matter so seriously? Because I know that there is a long tradition that Chinese talented people with moral integrity do not want to be officials.
For example, centuries ago, well-known Prime Minister Zhuge Liang would not assist Liu Bei, the founding emperor of the Zhuhan Dynasty, until he was moved by Liu’s sincerity in visiting his thatched cottage three times. However, he still wanted to return to his life as a farmer when he had succeeded in helping Liu achieve Liu’s goal.
The talented scholars with moral integrity described in my book, though anxious to become powerful politicians in order to put an end to Mao’s tyranny, all do not want to become officials.
If one of them has attained the goal they were all anxious to attain, i.e. to gain the power to substitute scholars’ dominance for uneducated workers and peasants’, he shall not appoint any of them to be his assistant unless their assistance is indispensable.
Traditionally, Chinese officials are so corrupt that people believe whatever rumour about the corruption of any official, no matter how honest he is.
Reputation is most important for talented people with moral integrity. With their talents, they can be successful in any other career; therefore, since they are clean, there is no reason for them to be a part of the dirty officialdom and be regarded as dirty.
I often worry that when talented scholars have attained their goal to establish scholars’ dominance and make China strong, they will all retire from politics and there will be a dire shortage of talented people with moral integrity to run China.
Therefore, I regard a politician’s reputation as a very serious issue.
Certainly I still believe that the party’s practice of covering up by censorship is entirely wrong. The government should make thorough investigation when there is a rumour about a politician’s integrity, and make public the results of the investigation.
SCMP says in its report entitled Wen family hits back at ‘lies’ on hidden fortune, “Political observers both in China and overseas said it was rare for Chinese state leaders to openly deny overseas media reports, but Wen was keen to protect his image as the ‘people’s premier’ and ‘Grandpa Wen’.”
Wen is good in setting an example that state leaders should openly deal with reports about their characters, and allow there to be transparency in China’s officialdom.
In a separate report SCMP provides a translation of the full text of Wen’s family’s lawyers’ statement as follows:
“Entrusted by the family members of Wen Jiabao, we hereby issue a statement regarding the New York Times’ untrue report about Wen Jiabao and his relatives:
“I. The so-called “hidden riches” of Wen Jiabao’s family members in the New York Times’ report do not exist.
“II. Some of Wen Jiabao’s family members have not engaged in business activities. Some were engaged in business activities, but they did not carry out any illegal business activity. They do not hold shares of any companies.
“III. The mother of Wen Jiabao, except receiving salary/pension according to the regulation, has never had any income or property.
“IV. Wen Jiabao has never played any role in the business activities of his family members, still less has he allowed his family members’ business activities to have any influence on his formulation and execution of policies.
“V. Other relatives of Wen Jiabao and the “friends” and “colleagues” of those relative are responsible for all their own business activities.
“VI. We will continue to make clarifications regarding untrue reports by the New York Times, and reserve the right to hold it legally responsible.
“Jun He Law Offices
“Grandall Law Firm (Beijing)
“October 27, 2012
For me, the above statement clearly gives Wen’s side of the story. I am waiting to see NYT’s response.Source: SCMP “Wen family hits back at ‘lies’ on hidden fortune”
- China: Wen Jiabao “hidden riches” don’t exist, say lawyers (chinadailymail.com)
- New York Times blocked in China over Wen Jiabao wealth revelations (guardian.co.uk)
- Wen Jiabao’s Lawyer Hints At Legal Action Against NYT (businessinsider.com)