Chinese adults can’t take parents’ money - that’s law

Saturday, January 22, 2011

SHANGHAI - In a bid to ensure elderly persons’ social welfare, parents in an east China province have been empowered by a new law to decline their adult children’s monetary demands.

The People’s Congress of Jiangsu province passed an ordinance Friday which forbids adult children from demanding money or belongings from their parents in a forcible way, China Daily reported Saturday.

The provision is widely seen as an attempt to discourage the NEET group - a name used to refer collectively to young people who chose to live off their parents rather than seek steady employment, attend school or enroll in special training.

Zhao Jianyang, director of the administrative law department, Law Committee of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Jiangsu, said: “The right conferred on elderly parents to refuse requests for financial support will help parents who have children in the NEET group.”

The provision, the first of its kind in China, contains an important caveat - children will not be violating the law if they obtain financial assistance from parents who are willing to lend a hand.

It’s part of an ordinance designed to protect the rights of the elderly (those over 60 years old) in Jiangsu.

The ordinance, however, encourages adult children to make regular visits to their parents’ homes and take care of their elderly parents.

In one of several recent trends in China, more young people have adopted the NEET lifestyle as a means of leading a more comfortable existence.

According to the statistics released by the China Research Center on Aging last year, up to 30 percent of young people fall into the NEET category and 65 percent of families must contend with NEET children.

The new provision has drawn varying reactions.

Gao Jianming, a 55-year-old teacher in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, said the provision will benefit him and his ilk.

“I’ve noticed the NEET problem among my friends whose children are too dependent on their parents, which is wrong. Parents should have the right to enjoy their elderly years with their own money,” said Gao.

He also said that the society will benefit from the call for adult children to pay regular visits to their parents.

Jiang Xuelai, a 25-year-old private employee in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, said: “The regulation will likely lead to discord in families and disputes on financial issues.”

Filed under: Immigration, World

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