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China media blames 'powerful force' behind leaked offshore accounts

All News 19:18 April 05, 2016

BEIJING, April 5 (Yonhap) -- A huge leak of tax documents that revealed the secret offshore accounts of relatives of former and current Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, could be a part of a "disinformation" campaign by Western forces, a newspaper published by China's Communist Party said Tuesday.

The revelation came after a year-long investigation by more than 100 media groups worldwide into 11.5 million documents, leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, found offshore financial transactions by influential figures such as aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Dubbed the "Panama Papers," the leaked documents were obtained by a German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with media organizations worldwide by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

In an editorial titled "Powerful force is behind Panama Papers," the state-run Global Times newspaper said, "The documents revealed do have basic political targets."

"In the Internet era, disinformation poses no major risks to Western influential elites or the West," it said. "In the long run, it will become a new means for the ideology-allied Western nations to strike a blow to non-Western political elites and key organizations."

The editorial stopped short of mentioning allegations on relatives of the Chinese leaders.

During a regular press briefing on Tuesday, China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, "For such groundless accusations, I have no comment."

Other Chinese state-run media organizations have largely ignored news reports about the "Panama Papers."

Searches for "Panama Papers" on Chinese Internet websites or social media were blocked on Tuesday.

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