China limits coverage and denounces Panama Papers' tax haven revelations
BEIJING, April 5 (Reuters) - China has moved to limit coverage of the massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm that may have exposed financial wrongdoing by some of the world's rich and powerful, blocking some search terms and removing certain stories online.
The "Panama Papers" revealed financial arrangements of politicians and public figures including friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, relatives of the prime ministers of Britain, Iceland and Pakistan, and the president of Ukraine.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which has published some of the information from the documents, said the files also revealed offshore companies linked to the families of Chinese President Xi Jinping and other powerful current and former Chinese leaders.
While holding money in offshore companies is not illegal, journalists who received the leaked documents said they could provide evidence of wealth hidden for tax evasion, money laundering, sanctions busting, drug deals or other crimes.
While the Chinese government has yet to respond publicly to the allegations - the Cabinet's news office did not immediately answer a request for comment - state media have largely avoided any reporting of the "Panama Papers".
Searches for the word "Panama" on Chinese search engines bring up stories in Chinese media on the topic, but many of the links have been disabled or only open onto stories about allegations directed at sports stars.
Searches for "Panama Papers" in Chinese bring up a warning that the results "may not accord with relevant laws and rules so can't be shown".
China's Internet regulator did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But the Global Times, an influential tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, suggested in an editorial on Tuesday that Western media backed by Washington used such leaks to attack political targets in non-Western countries. Continuación...