The proposed amendment to a 1996 law on rights of the aged could be considered by the National People’s Congress, China’s government-appointed legislature, But Jing Jun, a sociology professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, told the New York Times it was unlikely to pass. “The national delegates are rational enough,” he said. Some specialists support the proposal. “I know the person who drafted this provision, and the first thing I told him was ‘Really nice move,” said Ninie Wang, international director of the Gerontological Society of China, a Beijing-based nonprofit research group. “The whole society needs to start seeing that we need to give the elderly more care and attention.”
“The notion that adult children should care for their aged parents is deeply ingrained in Chinese society, Lafraniere wrote. “Offspring who shirk their responsibilities are met with scorn — and sometimes legal judgments. In Shandong Province, for instance, a court ordered three daughters to each pay their 80-year-old mother between 350 to 500 renminbi, roughly $53 to $75 a month, after the mother claimed that they ignored her and treated her like a burden, The Qingdao Evening News reported. “
Proposed Law Would Punish Grown Children Who Demand Money from Their Parents
“The Civil Affairs Ministry is not the only government agency rushing to the defense of older people. Last week, the eastern province of Jiangsu passed an ordinance forbidding adult children from forcing their parents to give them money or goods, according to The Yangzi Evening News.”[Source: Sharon Lafraniere, New York Times, January 29, 2011]
China terms adult children who lean too heavily on their parents ‘kenlao zu’ — literally, people who nibble on their elders. The Chinese Research Center on Aging, a government-financed research center under the Civil Affairs Ministry, estimates that 3 in 10 adult Chinese remain partly or totally financially dependent on their parents.
Like the proposed national amendment, the provincial ordinance encourages adult children to see their parents regularly. What constitutes regular — as opposed to occasional or infrequent — is unclear. So is how such a requirement could be enforced. Mr. Wu, the Civil Affairs Ministry official, said in his interview with The Legal Evening News that lawsuits accusing children of emotional neglect of their parents ‘would be different from normal lawsuits. Because the amendment tries to govern social behavior, he said, ‘some details cannot be set forth very clearly.’ He suggested some lawsuits might end in supervision or mediation.
The amendment also addresses the need for more facilities, community care and in-home services for the older people, as well as the need for more social benefits, like free routine medical checkups. A spokesman for the ministry said he could not comment on the proposed amendment because it had not yet become law.
SOURCE: Facts and Details.com
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