What’s the Latest Development?
A new law in China that stipulates adult children must visit their parents “often” has stirred debate among the country’s political leaders and those charged with caring for their parents. Politicians say codifying parental fealty is a necessary response to the country’s trend of urbanization, where young adults move to cities in search of work and all but abandon their parents, who remain at home in smaller villages. Those subject to the new law, however, say the state is trying to absolve itself of the responsibility to care for its elderly citizens, asking children to shoulder the burden rather than paying state pensions.
What’s the Big Idea?
Due to increasing life spans and China’s one-child policy, its population is aging rapidly. “Nearly 15% of the country’s population — more than 200 million people — is now 60 or older, according to the China Research Center on Aging. … By 2053, seniors will make up about 35%, or 487 million people, demographers project.” Beyond the controversy over who will care for China’s elderly, the state recognizes more must be done. Proposals have included specific holidays for home visits, offering real estate tax incentives to encourage people to live near their parents or offering credits for those who take care of their severely ill parents at home.
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