China’s Visit-the-Parents Law Also Affects City Buildings

China’s Visit-the-Parents Law Also Affects City Buildings

China will accelerate development of standards for functions and designs that accommodate the elderly in buildings and public facilities to comply with the same new law under which people can be forced to visit their parents.

China’s revised and broadened Law for the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly includes a chapter aimed at ensuring comfortable living environments, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.The nation will issue rules on planning of urban living areas and road traffic to aid the elderly and will accelerate the construction of elder-care facilities “in the next couple of years,” Xinhua reported.

The law, which went into effect July 1, also allows parents in China to sue children who don’t visit often enough. With China’s elderly population forecast to more than double to 487 million in the next 40 years, the government needs to try to limit the cost of caring for seniors.

In the first verdict under the law, on the day it went into force, a woman in Wuxi in eastern China’s Jiangsu province was ordered to visit her 77-year-old mother every two months and at least three times during major traditional holidays, Xinhua reported July 2, citing the verdict.

Traditionally, children lived with their parents and looked after them in accordance with Confucian beliefs. The ancient Chinese philosopher emphasized filial piety as the foundation of all values and placed great importance on harmony and a proper order of social relationships, especially within families.

That relationship has eroded as China’s one-child policy increases the burden on the sole offspring and people move to cities in pursuit of jobs.

Visitation Rules

In response, the government passed amendments to the elderly-care law on Dec. 28 to include the visitation requirement and a stipulation that employers approve the necessary leave, without specifying how often the visits should take place. The law enables the elderly to seek legal recourse and prohibits “discrimination, insult, ill-treatment and abandonment” of the aged.

China also assigned a symbolic Elderly Day under the legislation and said it will improve long-term care services and benefits for senior citizens.

Besides an effort to preserve tradition, the rules are an economic necessity to limit the state’s burden. China’s working-age citizens ages 15 to 59 fell as a share of the population last year, and the National Committee on Aging estimates people 60 years and older will rise to 487 million by 2053 from 185 million in 2011. The entire U.S. population is projected to reach about 406 million in 2053, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The government will introduce favorable policies that include boosting the number of beds in care facilities to 30 per 1,000 elderly people by 2015, from 20 currently, Minister for Civil Affairs Li Liguo told reporters at the National People’s Congress in Beijing on March 5.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Fellman in New York at jfellman@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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