Running Amuck


Back in September, the [road-rage] attack case involving Li Tianyi (李天一), the son of major general and army vocalist Li Shuangjiang (李双江), once again (like the Li Gang Case of October 2010) drew the attention of the public to the arrogant attitudes and behavior of young Chinese with well-connected parents — that is, the sons and daughters of Party and government officials (官二代) and the sons and daughters of the rich (富二代).

Li Tianyi’s case was also cast as an illustration of the arrogant behavior of the sons and daughters of privileged entertainment stars, referred to as the xing’erdai (星二代). Right on the heels of the Li Tianyi case, Wang Ke (王珂) and Wang Shuo (王闹), two of the so-called “Beijing playboys” (京城四少) — both regarded as second-generation rich and powerful — crashed their luxury cars during a street race, which then led to a scuffle in which Wang Shuo allegedly pulled a gun on Wang Ke [More here from China Daily]. This case, like the others, focused attention on the dictatorial and unchecked behavior of some children of the second generation, and drew in related debates about social fairness and equality, corruption and rule of law.

Like Wang Shuo, the deputy general manager of property development company Beijing Wangfu Centurial Development, Wang Ke is regarded as a member of the so-called “second-generation rich,” or fu’erdai (富二代), but his exact family connections remain something of a mystery. In this cartoon by Kuang Biao (邝飚), “Second-Generation Running Amuck”(横行的二代) — in which the word hengxing, or running amuck, also means to “stalk” or “crawl” or “scuttle”, as in the movement of crabs — two crabs with lower bodies shaped like a government seal (left) and a sycee, or ancient Chinese gold ingot, battle it out for supremacy. The upper bodies of these crabs, which clearly represent the “second-generation powerful” and the “second-generation rich,” are shaped like, well . . . we leave the rest of the interpretation to our readers. (Could there also be a pejorative reference to Hu Jintao’s “harmonious society” and internet slang “river crab” here?)

Leave a Comment