Associate Professor of East Asian Studies Hong Zhang commented on China’s Modern Filial Piety Culture Museum, which was backed by the Chinese government to promote family values in the face of rapid economic growth. The museum has faced criticism from some who see it as a way for the government to shirk its duty to provide care for the elderly.

“Many Chinese families, facing smaller family size and family separation, are anxiously searching for new ways of fulfilling filial piety,” Zhang said. “If the government is promoting the filial tradition, people can be cynical and see it as the government’s effort to find an excuse of not doing its job.” For example, according to China’s civil affairs minister, last year there were only 25 care beds for every 1,000 senior citizens.