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China executes student over hit-and-run murder
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 7, 2011

China on Tuesday executed a music student convicted of stabbing a woman to death after hurting her in a car crash, a crime that sparked national debate over China's "rich second generation."

Yao Jiaxin was executed after the high court in north China's Shaanxi province turned down his appeal over the April 22 death sentence, China Central Television reported.

The execution was also approved by China's Supreme People's Court, which noted the "extremely despicable and odious" nature of the crime, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Yao, 21, was convicted of murdering 26-year-old mother Zhang Miao on October 20 after hitting her with his car on the streets of the provincial capital of Xian.

Zhang, who was riding her bike, only suffered minor injuries in the accident but instead of helping the woman, Yao stabbed her eight times with a knife as she eyed his car number plate.

Yao, a student at the Xian Conservatory of Music, fled the scene but was later caught and, according to an earlier Xinhua report, confessed that he killed her because he feared the "peasant woman would be hard to deal with" over the accident.

The crime has prompted hand-wringing over the country's so-called "rich second generation."

The term is applied to the wealthy offspring of people who have prospered with China's economic opening of the past 30 years -- youths seen as expecting privilege and sometimes lacking in morals.

It follows another notorious incident involving a 23-year-old man, Li Qiming, who was sentenced to six years in prison in January after attempting to exploit his father's senior police rank to flee a fatal drink-driving accident.

After running over two young women on a college campus in north China, killing one, he shouted, "my father is Li Gang," and dared onlookers to try to stop him leaving the scene.

News reports said Yao's family was neither especially wealthy nor well connected, but that both his parents worked for companies in China's defence industry, which has boomed in recent years as the country has rapidly modernised its military.

Reaction to Tuesday's execution on the Chinese Internet was mixed, with some saying Yao's actions could be the result of the huge pressure to succeed heaped on many youngsters by their parents, sometimes at the expense of moral values.

"He shouldn't have been killed, what a pitiful kid. Why can't we have a little compassion -- this entire episode has been good for neither family," said a posting from a sina.com user in south China's Guangdong province.

Another user from the eastern province of Shandong identified as Fenfang said: "What good is a college student if they cannot have just a little bit of humanity? The execution of Yao Jiaxin is a necessary result of the crime."

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Beijing (AFP) June 6, 2011
At least 90 students, herders and ordinary residents have been arrested in Inner Mongolia, a rights group said, amid serious ethnic unrest fuelled by resentment over Chinese rule. Around 40 ethnic Mongol students and herders were detained in flashpoint areas in the Xilingol area of the vast northern region, the US-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center said. An estimate ... read more

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