China party mouthpiece laments spoiled generation

BEIJING (AFP) - The mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party on Monday lamented a generation who had never tasted "hard work" after the son of a general was detained on suspicion of involvement in a gang rape.

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 outrage.

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 anger 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 the 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 Feb 17, the state-run China Daily said.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed Beijing police source saying that 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.

Domestic media reports said his parents changed his name from Li Tianyi to Li Guanfeng on his release.

Hundreds of thousands of people went online to express their outrage at the time, and the general apologised for his son's actions.