Saturday, 10 September 2011

Rich Kids Still Out of Control

General Li Shuangjiang and his 15-year-old son Li Tianyi
There's over four million cars on the roads in Beijing so perhaps it's not surprising there are going to be bouts of road rage.

However the latest incident calls into question what the parents are doing to rein in their kids.

A 15-year-old named Li Tianyi and his friend surnamed Su, 18, beat up a husband and wife while their son looked on.

According to news reports the two leaped out of their sports cars -- Li driving a customized BMW coupe without a license plate -- and beat the couple for three minutes.

Moments earlier the wife was driving the family back home to their residential complex and was slowing down to make the turn when the two teen drivers followed so fast behind them they screeched to a halt. They came out of their cars and quarreled with the husband before beating them. "Who will dare call the police?" they shouted at stunned onlookers. They tried to flee the scene in Beijing's Haidian district, but local residents stopped them.

The woman who was beaten up told a newspaper her husband had nine stitches on his forehead, two at the back of his head, and suffered wounds to his nose and right eye.

It turns out Li is the son of 72-year-old General Li Shuangjiang, a famous singer and music department dean of the Beijing-based PLA Academy of Arts. He profusely apologized for his son's actions.

"As the father, I bear the responsibility for my son's behaviour. I am so sorry that I'd rather now be beaten by you," he said to the injured couple in hospital. "I will not condone my son's faults and there will be a settlement."

First of all, what is a 72-year-old doing having a son who is 15? Is this really his only son?

And also why does his young son have access to an expensive car? He is not old enough to drive even though his parents bought him the car.

Li Jr's lawyer seems to think the teenager will not be charged because he is not yet 16. Excuse me? He committed an illegal act of driving a car without a license and physically assaulted two people.

Meanwhile Su's Audi had what appeared to be government license plates but later turned out to be fake. Li's car was also found to have a toy gun.

The outrageous behaviour of China's "rich second generation" has to stop because it's not only upsetting social harmony but also endangering lives.

In the meantime stay tuned for the lawsuits that will be launched and it'll be interesting to see what punishments -- if any -- are meted out.

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