China is considering laws that would penalize parents if their young children engage in “very poor behavior” or commit crimes.
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Draft Family Education Promotion Law
The Chinese legislature is considering the draft Family Education Promotion Law for enactment. According to this draft, if prosecutors detect really bad or criminal behaviour in children under their care, guardians will be held accountable and reprimanded. The law will further compel them to attend family education counselling programs.
“There are various reasons for adolescents to misbehave, but the main cause is a lack of or inappropriate parental teaching,” said Zang Tiewei, a spokeswoman for the National People’s Congress’ Legislative Affairs Commission (NPC).
The draft law also encourages parents to schedule time for their children to relax, play, and exercise.
State Measures for Control over Childhood Learning
By October 24, the NPC Standing Committee will likely review the proposed law on family education promotion. This is the latest development in Beijing’s push for a more paternalistic approach this year. To keep children under check, Beijing had previously put an outright ban on internet games. At the same time, the Education Ministry had limited the amount of time minors could play games. It has now permitted minors to play online games for one hour each only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
This year, China has taken a more assertive paternalistic stance, tackling a range of things- everything from children’s addiction to online games. This entire range is considered a sort of “spiritual opium”. Beijing’s stance even accounts for “blind” devotion of internet celebrities.
The education ministry has recently reduced homework, concerned about the academic strain on overburdened youngsters. It has also outlawed after-school tutoring for main subjects during weekends and holidays.
State Enforcement to Prevent “Feminization of Male Adolescents”
At the same time, China is encouraging young Chinese men to be more “manly” and less “feminine”. In December 2020, the education ministry released its “Proposal to Prevent the Feminization of Male Adolescents”. As part of the project, it recommended schools to promote on-campus sports like soccer for male students.
Last month, the Chinese government took action against what it termed “sissy men”, or males (particularly celebrities) it deemed effeminate. Chinese regulators banned imagery of concerned celebrities on China’s TV and video streaming sites in September. The government explained further that they were aiming to purge “morally flawed celebrities” as a rule, to “correct aesthetics” in “performing styles” and “wardrobes and makeups”. Chinese cultural authorities used the derogatory slur “niang pao” (“girlie guns”) to target such figures.