News / Asia

New Chinese Law Requires Children to Visit Aging Parents

A group of elderly men take a rest on their wheelchairs at a park in Beijing, (File photo).
A group of elderly men take a rest on their wheelchairs at a park in Beijing, (File photo).
VOA News
A controversial new law in China threatens to punish adult children who do not regularly visit their elderly parents.

The law that went into force Monday requires family members to "often" visit relatives over 60 years old, in addition to caring for their "psychological needs."

It does not specify how often visits must take place and does not say what punishment will be given to those who who break the law.

But in the first ruling under the new law Monday, a Chinese court ordered a woman and her husband to visit her 77-year-old mother at least once every two months and on holidays, or face possible fines and detention.

The new law comes amid increasing reports of elderly parents being neglected or mistreated by their children in China. In recent decades, China's rapid development has challenged its typically close traditional extended family unit.

The problem has only grown worse as China's population continues to rapidly age. The United Nations says 30 percent of Chinese will be over 60 years old by 2050 - a rate much higher than the worldwide average of 20 percent.

But many Chinese have criticized the legislation, saying it will be hard to enforce and is unreasonable for many who have moved away from their homes looking for work.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Urb from: US
July 06, 2013 7:09 AM
What if your parents are raging, alcoholic control freaks? Tough cookies, I guess -- suck it up!

by: chris gao from: China Mainland
July 03, 2013 2:28 AM
most of the chinese young people working in society now like to and willing to care more of their parents. but the social pressure, including: work opportunities,salaries, less rest times .etc stop us to care them.. especially the housing price.... if u want ur parents to live togeter with u, u will beed a bigger house. 70 square will be OK, and that will cost 147540USdollars in China , meanwhile, our average salary is only 16000 us dollars one yr. ... and plus one family one child...

by: iamhe from: New Haven
July 02, 2013 12:57 PM
Government is one humanity's social systems, requiring a social conscience, and a corresponding sense of social responsibility, I am happy that China's Central Government did this for all the world to see.

Here in America we have the corporate for-profit solution for our aging parents..... and laws that push aging parents into corporate care....

Our house is committed to caring for our aging family members here at home come hell or high water.

by: Larry from: US
July 02, 2013 11:10 AM
In other words; if you try that western stuff... of dumping your parents on the state... we can throw you in jail.

by: Anonymous
July 02, 2013 10:55 AM
Is it possible that the neglected, aging parents don't have daughters to care about them because they altered nature when allowed only one child and often chose the male gender based on misperceptions about what is important in life.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs