BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese court ordered a controversial professor who claims descent from the ancient sage Confucius to apologise and pay a fine after a heated online row over poetry, local media reported on Friday.
Kong Qingdong, a professor at the elite Peking University who sparked an outcry in 2012 by calling Hong Kong people "dogs", said online that a student was a "dog-like traitor" for criticising a poem he wrote, the Beijing News reported.
The poem was in the style of China's Tang dynasty (618-906 AD) but the student said it rhymed incorrectly, the Global Times daily said.
"Your talk is not pertinent, you dog-like traitor," Kong wrote on China's twitter-like Sina Weibo service, according to the Beijing News report.
A court in Beijing ordered him to pay the student 200 yuan ($33) in damages and make a public apology, the report said. The student said he would appeal for larger damages, and hoped the court would force Kong to apologise on Sina Weibo.
Kong is often called on to provide outspoken commentary in China's media and claims to be related to the philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC), whose ideas have influenced Chinese intellectuals for millennia.
The professor is no stranger to controversy. He was reportedly involved in the shadowy "Confucius Peace Prize" that gave Russian President Vladimir Putin its annual award in 2011.