China Tuesday denounced accusations arising from a massive leak from a Panamanian law firm as "groundless" and moved to limit coverage of documents that may have exposed financial wrongdoing by some of the world's rich and powerful.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, asked whether Beijing would investigate any of the offshore tax affairs of the relatives of top leaders mentioned in the papers, told a daily news briefing: "We won't comment on these groundless accusations."
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.
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. "The Western media has taken control of the interpretation each time there has been such a document dump, and Washington has demonstrated particular influence in it," the paper said.