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Official reportedly stops newspaper publication to hide scandal

(Xinhua)

08:16, October 11, 2012

KUNMING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- A high-ranking official in southeast China's Fujian Province has reportedly blocked a newspaper from publishing a story implicating him as corrupt, local media reported on Wednesday.

The report instantly sparked wide discussion online as a similar case recently brought down another official in Shaanxi Province amid the country's increasing muckraking by social media.

The Fujian official, rumored to be Li Dejin, head of the province's Department of Transportation, stopped the Metropolitan Times of south China's Yunnan Province from publishing an article about him wearing a 50,000-yuan (7,950 U.S. dollars) Rado watch and a Hermes leather belt worth 15,000 yuan.

The case was revealed by Zhou Zhichen, editor-in-chief of the Metropolitan Times, who posted a message on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblog, saying he was both angry and ashamed because hundreds of thousands of copies of the paper were withdrawn because of "someone behind the curtains from far away."

Wang Keqin, an assistant to the Economic Observer's editor-in-chief, later provided more detail on the story via Sina Weibo. Wang's post has been forwarded over 100,000 times on Sina Weibo within two days.

The journalist said in a comment that the role of media is to expose, reveal and broadcast, and that is where its power lies.


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