Be Filial or Get Sued?

According to the China Daily, a new law in China allows parents to sue their children who do not perform their filial duties.

I think that this really shows the problems China is having with their one child policy and how a child potentially has to take care of 4 elders emotionally, physically, and most importantly- financially. The burden that people have now is much more emotionally draining than ever before.

The issue of being able to support their parents and upholding traditional Confucian values conflicts with many modern day lifestyles. So what do you think? Should filial piety be written into law or should people automatically do it? Is it necessary? Like any law, especially in China, enforcement is the key. That would be a very difficult practice to enforce. I do, however think that this is worth noting that the Chinese Government made the effort to even pass it and turn it into a law. It’s very reflective on that state of their society right now.

About Kristie

Kristie Hang holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in Communication Studies and Asian Humanities and is currently finishing her Masters in the Broadcast Journalism program at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Journalism. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, she has lived in Hong Kong, traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, and studied in Beijing at Tsinghua University as part of the Interuniversity Program for Advanced Chinese Studies. In addition to her current positions as a News Contributor at Annenberg Digital News and a Video Journalist with Annenberg Television News, her media experience includes internships with MTV Networks, CNN International, as well as with the Asia Pacific Institute, where she reported on Asian and Asian-American arts and entertainment. She also enjoys writing about food and travel at her blog, "I Eat Therefore I Am" ( She is fluent in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin and whatever is left from four years of spanish.
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3 Responses to Be Filial or Get Sued?

  1. emilyfro says:

    What about parents who make especially poor decisions like gambling, not quitting smoking, accumulating debt, or retiring too early? Their bad decisions cripple the next generation. I favor a public safety net system, but not one that overburdens the state. Aging is expensive, and the question of who should pay the most during that process is still up for debate.

  2. meifong says:

    I read a stat which predicts by 2015 every third person in this world over 60 will be Chinese. That’s a gray population explosion that China’s nascent pension, healthcare system just isn’t ready to support. So perhaps legislation is necessary to manage an unprecedented situation. But as with many other laws in China, so much depends on how such a law might be interpreted and enforced. Another gray area.

  3. Kristie says:

    I completely agree that with any law, especially in China, comes the problem of enforcement. I did find it extremely interesting though, that they would even phantom about the possibility into making it a law. That says a lot about the problems that come with having the burden of having to care for one’s family and maintaining one’s one career and life.

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