by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Feb 25, 2013
The newspaper of China's Communist Party Monday lamented a generation who had never tasted "hard work" after a general's son was held for suspected involvement in a gang-rape, as hundreds of thousands expressed outrage online.
Li Guanfeng, the teenage son of General Li Shuangjiang -- a popular military singer and household name in the country -- was held last Thursday in the latest allegation against privileged children of officials to spark public anger.
The news has dominated Internet message boards, online news portals and state-run newspapers in China, where crimes by the offspring of the country's elite cause particular fury among ordinary people.
"Family education" among successful, well-known figures in China needs to be "cautious", said the People's Daily, the ruling party's official organ, in an editorial on the case.
"Many of these children have not experienced the hard work needed in their parents' struggle to achieve success, but are shown the results of this success.
"Used to getting everything they want and having all their problems handled, they will use their father's name as an excuse, take flaunting wealth for granted and regard defying the law as brave behaviour."
Li is among five suspects detained over allegations of a sexual assault on February 17, the state-run China Daily said.
The newspaper quoted a Beijing police source as saying the group were accused of gang-raping a woman in a hotel room after a night of drinking.
It is not the first time the 17-year-old has come to public attention.
He was sent to a government correctional facility for one year in 2011 for beating a couple while their young child looked on.
Then he was known as Li Tianyi, but his parents changed his name on his release. Some domestic media reports said the move was intended to help his rehabilitation, but others called it an attempt to cover up his criminal record.
Hundreds of thousands of people went online to express their outrage at the 2011 incident, when the general apologised for his son's actions.
Internet users in China have returned to the web in force following news of the teenager's detention. On Monday morning the Global Times said the case had triggered more than 927,000 posts.
Many recalled an interview with Li's mother Meng Ge, who is also a famous military singer, in which she said she hoped her son would one day win a Nobel Prize.
"From what I know, going to prison is not a prerequisite for winning a Nobel Prize," said one poster on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.
"Looks like Meng Ge's hope that her son will win a Nobel Prize will not happen now," said another. "Li Shuangjiang has shown boundless tolerance to a son who is prone to terrible mistakes."
In one of the highest-profile scandals to involve the offspring of top officials, the son of a police chief tried to use his father's status to escape a fatal car accident he had caused in 2010.
Li Qiming, 22, ran over a student in the northern province of Hebei, and shouted: "Sue me if you dare. My father is Li Gang!" He was later sentenced to six years in prison.
Last March the son of senior Communist Party official Ling Jihua reportedly died when he crashed a Ferrari in the capital, leaving two women passengers -- one said to have been naked -- injured.
China News from SinoDaily.com
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