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China blocks Wen report, NY Times says it's proud

BEIJING--China's censors did their best Saturday to block discussion of a New York Times investigation into Premier Wen Jiabao, but analysts said the report would still likely reach tens of millions of people. The newspaper said that relatives of the government's number two had become “extraordinarily wealthy” during his tenure.

The English-language and Chinese websites of the American newspaper were also blocked in China and reports on international television channels CNN and BBC World were blacked out.

Seasoned China watcher Willy Lam told AFP he estimated that about 10 percent of China's 500-million-strong online population would still manage to evade the censors, however.

The New York Times said in a blogpost that the investigation into Wen had taken a year and that the newspaper knew of the likely impact on its business prospects in China.

“I'm very proud of this work,” New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger was quoted as saying in the post. “Our business is to publish great journalism. Does this have a business impact? Of course.”

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