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Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 09:53

Civil code: Lawmakers question age standard

By Xinhua

BEIJING - Chinese lawmakers on Tuesday expressed doubts on the draft general rules of the civil code, which proposed lowering the age for persons with limited civil capacity of conduct from 10 to six years.

The general rules stipulate the basic principles of the civil code, which China's top legislature officially started reviewing at the ongoing bimonthly session.

According to the draft general rules, the suggestion to lower the age standard was influenced by increased physical and psychological maturity, and cognitive ability due to social development and improved living and educational standards.

However, during a group deliberation on Tuesday afternoon, members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) disagreed on the change.

Xu Weigang, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, said six-year-old children are too young to have the ability to recognize and identify issues.

"They are prone to be influenced by adults and environments, so I suggest the age remains unchanged at 10 years old," said Xu.

The draft stipulates that persons between six and 18 years old have limited civil capacity of conduct.

"Six-year-old children vary in their ability. The excessively low age standard will not protect minors," said Sun Jing, another member of NPC Standing Committee.

Yan Yixin, also an NPC Standing Committee member, said in the group discussion that the age standard for persons with limited civil capacity of conduct is lowered to that of the legal age for compulsory education.

"I suggest that the age standard is lowered to eight years old," said Yan.

Another NPC Standing Committee member Xu Zhenchao said a six-year-old child cannot recognize enough characteristics or count, not to mention they lack basic knowledge of law.

"The current age standard of 10 years old is appropriate, as 10-year-old children have basic knowledge of life and society, as well as the nature and consequences of their behavior," said Su Zelin.

"The change does not conform to the actual situation," added Su.

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