Despite the fact that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has already denied a recent New York Times report that suggested his extended family had billions in assets (and hinted at legal action against the Times), he does appear to be taking the allegations serious.
According to the South China Morning Post, China's Politburo Standing Committee (of which Wen is a member) has asked for a formal probe into the allegations, focusing largely on whether the family has billions of dollars of shares in the country's largest insurance firm Ping An, as the Times reported.
Perhaps more than anything else, the probe show how seriously Wen wants to protect his legacy. The Prime Minister had crafted an image of a careful, progressive, technocratic politician. He knows exactly how damaging the hints of wealth and corruption are.
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