China's premier turns to lawyers from Jun He and Grandall amid New York Times row

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  • Don't know who's advising this guy on PR, but trying to sue the NYT over a story you don't want to give publicity to is a crazy strategy.
    If you hadn't seen this story yet, by the end of the week you certainly will have.
    Moreover, how can Wen prove the NYT is wrong? The NYT can just state its case is solid, refuse to hand over its sources and that is the end of that. What is China going to do, try to extradite the editor of the NYTimes to a Chinese court? And if they think they'll win a libel suit in a New York court vs New York's main paper they're even more deluded.

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  • Many US presidents are super rich! But there are enough public scrutiny in the US. The problem in China is transparency! If people disclose their wealth at the first place, there won't be such big issues like this. The Chinese government is already pushing for publishing government officials' personal wealth. But it's practically hard to achieve, because the information channel are the transparent, and there is not effective way to enforcement.

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  • The other problem is that the Chinese premier is not elected surely.

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  • It's not merely a question of transparency. It is illegal to own assets overseas without having gone through the SAFE approvals. It is illegal whether held directly or through proxies. In addition, the Party constitution does not allow the amassment of wealth overseas. Add to that the likelihood that the wealth was amassed under dual nationalities, which is also unlawful, and you get a total of very serious risks for the Wen family, including likely criminality. So the NYT allegations are destructive. Of course, the other leaders are probably worse.

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  • @PR guru: the NYT cannot simply refuse to hand over its sources if it actually gets sued for libel. But Wen's family will (if they want to go ahead, which I doubt) need to hire NY lawyers as mentioned in Kriegler's article. What the Communist Party has done here is typically moronic: they have Chinese law firms at their beck and call, and have simply instructed these two veteran but unqualified lawyers to issue a clunking denial. And it is the Party calling the shots: for something this serious Wen's family can't just handle things their own way.

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  • To suggest that th Premier of China turn to a foreign, even U.S. law firm, is a little naive. This is a highly political case and a question of face! Of course, it is only the Chinese top law firm that he can turn to and with Jun He and Gradall he has done exactly that. The fact that the two lead senior partners are not specialized libel lawyers, looks to me like a detail. Much more fascinating is the fact that it is not a goverment spokesman as one would have expected but a pri vate law firm that comes forward with the first reaction. This clould convey a higher degree (and more aggressive) determination to fight these allegations. It might also signal a desire to remain more in control of teh defense (although this may be an illusion.

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