In China, Visit Your Elders ... Or Else!
Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go.
So, be a dear and pay the ol' gal a visit. Grandma doesn't want to drag your sorry butt to court.
And we're talking Chinese court.
Chinese authorities, never ones for subtlety, are considering a law to make visiting elderly parents and grandparents compulsory. And you do not want to mess with Chinese authorities.
In other words ... My Granny, what big teeth you have.
China Daily reports under the proposed law "elderly people who are ignored by their children can go to a court to claim their legal rights to be physically looked after." This would be the first amendment to China's law on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Aged since it came into effect in 1996.
Elders are important in traditional Chinese culture. Current Chinese law encourages local governments to give pensions to people 80 and older and offer free medical care to the elderly.
It is seen as a moral requirement in China for people to care for their aged parents and grandparents. Apparently, a lot Chinese people are starting to defy that tradition.
That's a problem in the most populated country in the world. By the end of 2009, China Daily reports, 167 million people were older than 60 and nearly 19 million were older than 80. More than half of the people 60 and older in China live alone, and, in the cities, that number shoots up to 70 percent.
Still, can you really require people to take care of their parents and grandparents?
"It is impossible to carry out the compulsory requirement to visit elderly family members because it violates personal liberty," Qian Jun, a Beijing-based lawyer, tells China Daily. "It would be better to strengthen moral education than to force people to do something legally."
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