Filial piety – a virtue of respect and honor for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors – is not highly regarded in the Western world, but an elderly couple from China’s Henan province have taken legal action against their son for neglecting this moral tenet.
The Chinese couple sued their son for neglecting his duty of financially supporting them, which falls under China’s most revered moral tenet, filial piety.
As opposed to Western moral standards, failing to take care of your elderly parents is actually considered a legal offense both in China and in other countries with large Chinese communities, like Singapore and Taiwan.
In these countries, it is common for parents to sue their offspring for neglecting them in their old age. And while most reconcile their differences before having punitive measures enforced, some don’t until police, revenue service and banks get involved.
Such was the case of an elderly couple whose son flat out refused to support them even after being ordered to by a judge.
According to Chinese news portal, Mr. and Mrs. Zhang, from Henan Province’s Xiangcheng District, originally sued their son for neglecting to support them financially last year.
After a short court battle, the son was ordered by a the district’s People’s Court in May 2019 to pay a set alimony to his mother and father every month, but he continued to ignore his legal duty.
Almost an entire year went by without the elderly couple receiving any financial assistance from their son.
The two heartbroken parents decided to involve the police and enforce the judge’s verdict.
Despite an appeal from a police officer to start fulfilling his legal duty to his parents, he refused to heed to the advise.
The bank where the son kept most of his money was reportedly contacted by state workers to freeze his accounts until all of the money owed to his parents has been paid.
One of the police officers involved in the case said;
Having to witness the couple of over 70 years of age still having to rely on the law to receive allowances from their own children, it just feels heartbreaking.
I hope that everyone knows that taking care of parents is the responsibility of their children, so that painful things like this don’t happen again.
What are you thoughts on China and it’s strict observance of filial piety?