Law requires Chinese to visit their aging parents

In this Thursday, May 23, 2013 photo, a group of elderly men take a rest on their wheelchairs at a park in Beijing. New wording in the law requiring people to visit or keep in touch with their elderly parents or risk being sued came into force Monday, July 1, 2013, as China faces increasing difficulty in caring for its aging population. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
In this Thursday, May 23, 2013 photo, a group of elderly men take a rest on their wheelchairs at a park in Beijing. New wording in the law requiring people to visit or keep in touch with their elderly parents or risk being sued came into force Monday, July 1, 2013, as China faces increasing difficulty in caring for its aging population. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING (AP) — Parents aren’t the only ones urging their adult children to visit. China is making that imperative a law.

The requirement that people visit or keep in touch with their elderly parents or risk being sued came into force Monday as China faces increasing difficulty in caring for its aging population. The amended law does little to change the status quo because elderly parents in China already have been suing their adult children for emotional support, and the new wording does not specify the number of visits or any potential penalties.

One of the drafters, law professor Xiao Jinming at Shandong University, says a primary purpose of the law is to raise awareness that the elderly need emotional support.

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