Morning Buzz

Chinese Law Mandates Visiting Parents

It's now illegal not to visit or send a message to your old Chinese parents on a routine basis. Some people think the new law is ridiculous. Really? If you're going to protest a Chinese law, get your priorities straightened out.

A culture that traditionally respects, honors, and cares for its elderly, China is now facing human isolation and neglect of seniors just as other developed countries do. Who better to help care for old people than the children they worked and sacrificed to raise? The Law of Protection of Rights and Interests of the Aged, which took effect Monday, almost, God forbid, makes sense.

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Because many Chinese citizens are migrant workers and can't easily travel to be with family, the law allows people in those circumstances to "send regards," but in any case, offspring are now required to see to their folks' spiritual needs "regularly." Some whineybutts are saying, "What does 'regularly' mean? How can this law be enforced?'" When have details like that ever stopped the United States, the greatest legislative machine ever, from making a new law? Sack up, China.

It already was illegal in China to physically neglect or abuse elderly people. There's something intriguing, even appealing, about an adult being able to sue another adult for emotional support (which, before the new law, already was happening on a case-by-case basis). We prefer affection and attention freely offered, but we'll take what we can get.

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Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson