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Far from the tree?

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-04 13:49

Far from the tree?

Li Shuangjiang sings with his son Li Tianyi at an August 2011 concert. Dou Shan / China Photo Press

When an angel-like child morphs into a bete noire, parents are often implicated in his wrongdoings, especially when they have fame or power. But the urge for social equality should not compromise the impartiality of the law. Li Shuangjiang, now 74, had a son when he was 57. It is natural that the father dotes on his boy. But the famous singer's child - his pride and joy - has given him a torrent of grief.

Li Tianyi, born in 1996 - some sources suspect the year of his birth was 1992 - has grown up to become a bully.

Far from the tree?

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In September 2011, the youngster was found guilty of viciously beating someone who got into a fender bender with him and was put away for one year for juvenile delinquency. The senior Li visited the victim and apologized.

Earlier this month, the young Li, who now goes by the name Li Guanfeng, was detained for participating in a gang rape. And shortly afterwards, the father is reported to have become so upset that he had fallen ill.

The case is still under investigation.

The two stories would not have received such high exposure if not for the celebrity status of the father.

Li Shuangjiang is not only a renowned singer, but also his affiliation with the People's Liberation Army has bestowed him the social status equivalent to a senior official.

So, it's not just a celebrity's mollycoddle who turned out to be a bad apple - it is the demonstration of power being abused.

To be fair, Li Shuangjiang did not meddle with justice two years ago. His apology to the victim seemed sincere instead of a token gesture. And his son served the sentence.

Still, the elderly father has become the butt of a national joke because he had been trotting out his son as an exemplar of good upbringing and budding talent.

In many television shows prior to the 2011 incident, Li and his wife enthused about their child. Snippets from those shows are now dug up online as a cruel reminder of their premature faith in - and blind fondness of - their boy.

For more coverage by Raymond Zhou, click here

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