Monday, July 8, 2013

China passes its filial piety law, which is deliberately vague

China recently did indeed enact its law requiring filial piety, allowing parents to sue adult children who don’t look after them and possibly allowing criminal charges,  The exact definition of what would constitute “neglect” seems a bit ambiguous. 
Yu Hua has a perspective on p. A19 of the July 8 New York Times, "Where filial piety is the law",  here

Hua makes references to the demands of Chinese employers for overtime, and the flight of younger adults (often only children) from the countryside to the cities.  A half century ago, remember, the “Cultural Revolution” of Chairman Mao made everybody take turns being a peasant (well, not quite everybody).  The extremeness of this “fairness” measure caught the attention of the radical Left in the U.S.  Hua seems to think that at one time, the Communist Party thought it could take responsibility for extended family continuity (Confucian style) and realized it couldn’t.
In the United States, there has been some controversy over “filial responsibility laws”, especially with a case in Pennsylvania (retirement blog, May 22, 2012). 

See also earlier story about this law in China here Dec. 28, 2012.

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