BY: MARGARET MINNICKS
DECEMBER 29, 2012
In China, family matters.
According to reports, the new law states that children must visit their parents and visit them often. However, the law doesn't say how often.
If children don't visit their ailing parents, they can be sued.
This new law became effective because of recent reports that elderly parents claim they have been abandoned or neglected by their children.
Chinese newspapers are full of stories of elderly parents being mistreated. For example, earlier this month Chinese media reported that a woman in her nineties had been forced by her son to live in a pigsty for two years.
There are also stories of children trying to seize their parents' assets, or of old people dying unnoticed in their homes.
The traditional extended family in China has been damaged because of the rapid pace of China's development.
Here are some of China's statistics that led to the visitation law to be regulated.
• An eighth of the population of China is over the age of 60.
• China has nearly 167 million people aged over 60, and one million above 80.
• More than half of China's elderly people live alone.
• Children often leave their parents at home while they go to work in the major industrial centers.
• The dislocation of families has been exacerbated by China's one-child policy and a dramatic advance in life expectancy.
• There are fewer working children to support more elderly relatives.
• China has few affordable retirement or care homes for the elderly.
SOURCE: The Examiner
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