Chinese court orders woman to visit mother

This 1 July picture shows a woman surnamed Chu (L), 77, attending the hearing of a case against her daughter and husband in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu province. The 77-year-old woman sued her daughter, state media reported

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A Chinese court has ordered a woman to visit her mother once every two months, state media say, in the first case since a new law on parental visits came into effect on Monday.

The judgement was issued by a court in Wuxi, after a 77-year-old woman brought the case against her daughter.

The court also ruled that the daughter and her husband had to provide financial help, reports said.

The new visitation law has provoked both debate and ridicule online.

Called the "Elderly Rights Law", it is intended to tackle the growing problem of lonely elderly people by ordering adult children to visit their ageing parents.

But many have questioned how it can be enforced, given that the frequency of visits is not spelled out.

Other internet commentators say it intrudes into areas that should be governed by personal choice.

In this case, Xinhua reported that the elderly mother sued her daughter after she refused to care for her any more following a row.

China Daily said the hearing on Monday in Wuxi was held "to highlight the implementation of the law".

"Filial piety, considered a key virtue of traditional Chinese culture, generally means respect for one's parents and ancestors, including being good to one's parents and fulfilling one's duty to take care of them," the paper said.

The law was aimed primarily "at urging all of society to pay more attention to elders", it quoted a professor of population studies as saying.

China's population is aging and in recent years there have been a number of cases of elderly people being poorly treated or neglected that have shocked the nation.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    I too am quite shocked at the number of negative comments about this issue.
    During my graduation ceremony, Bill Bryson quoted that while the students had no doubt put a lot of effort into the last 3/4 years, they had no doubt BEEN a lot of effort to their backing parents over their lives.
    Having helped change their child into an economic entity, the government has reason to protect the parents.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    I'm quite shocked to see so many people complaining about being abused/not well-treated by their parents. It is never been this bad in China.

    Chinese parents do much much more for their child, and the child has much more responsibilities to look after old parents. To put your parents into care home is a shameful thing for many Chinese, even you pay for it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Surely parents have the responsibility to prepare for their own future, financially and practically, while they still can? There's no guarantee your children will even be alive when you're old, never mind have the desire or lifestyle to take care of you. My parents have always said they will never expect myself or my siblings to look after them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    Due to work pressures and the generally hectic lives we lead today, it may not always be possible to visit one's parents as regularly as they would wish. legislating family visits & criminalizing those who fail to comply is definitely not the way to handle this issue. This should serve as a cautionary tale for policy makers as the 1 child policy chickens are now coming home to roost.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Among China's many long term unsolvable problems is an aging population for which adequate care facilities cannot be provided. This in a culture that traditionally reveres the elderly. So the government has put the onus on their children. The one child policy and massive internal long distance migration to jobs makes the hardship even greater.How could such absurd laws possibly be widely enforced?


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