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New law forces Chinese to visit elderly parents

Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 01:14

An elderly Chinese woman wins court case against daughter for neglect, in a controversial new law that requires grown children to look after their parents.Andrew Raven reports.

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In this Chinese courtroom history is being made - but not without controversy. Seventy-seven-year-old Chu Fudi is suing her daughter and son-in-law, who she says don't visit her enough. And the judge agrees. Under a contentious new law, the judge ordered the pair to drop in on Chu at least once every two months - and on holidays. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) JUDGE OF BEITANG DISTRICT PEOPLE'S COURT, GAO XIN, SAYING: "We believe that over time they will realise relations between a mother and her children need family love." The ruling is the first under a law that compels children to spend time with their elderly parents. Critics though have called the measure government over-reach - and potentially counterproductive. "If you settle this dispute through a lawsuit, the effect may be exactly the opposite of the intention," says this lawyer. "The relationship between the parents and their children may get even worse." Chinese society traditionally places great importance on filial piety. But three decades of dramatic social change and urban migration has left many elderly alone or in care homes.

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New law forces Chinese to visit elderly parents

Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 01:14