Topics from China's 'Two Sessions' buzz on social media

Reproductive rights, juvenile delinquency pondered in China's rubber-stamp parliament

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Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at China's National People's Congress.

Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at China's National People's Congress. (AP photo)

(TAIPEI) Taiwan News — As China's "Two Sessions" — the annual meeting composed of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People's Congress (NPC) — drew international attention for its attempts to decimate Hong Kong's autonomy, other issues proposed by the delegates also triggered heated debate on Chinese social media.

Juvenile delinquency:

To reduce crime among the youth, the NPC delegate from Chongqing, Tan Pingchuan (潭平川), suggested lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 14 to 12 and lowering the age of full criminal responsibility from 16 to 14; the same regulations in Taiwan are 14 and 18 years old, respectively. However, some delegates with law backgrounds firmly opposed this idea, emphasizing that punishment does not impact the source of criminality, which is typically socioeconomic.

As an NPC delegate from Heilongjiang, Guo Chenyu (郭成宇), pointed out, China's young criminal offenders are by and large undereducated, so she proposed that local governments strictly enforce compulsory schooling. She also suggested that the duration of education should be expanded from the current nine years to 12.

Reproductive rights:

The current laws in China only allow married women who have pregnancy issues to freeze their eggs. An NPC delegate from Shandong, Sun wei (孫偉), proposed that local hospitals comply with these restrictions and forbid single women from having their eggs frozen. According to her claim, the ban prevents a waste of resources.

"The main goal is to promote the optimal ages for pregnancy on a national level; that is, between 24 and 29 years old for women," Sun said. Peng Jing (彭靜), a CPPCC delegate from Chongqing, countered that the ban, which she criticized as gender biased, should be lifted.

Fan culture:

Some delegates also brought up the cult-like fan culture in China, which sometimes leads to paralysis in airports when mobs gather to greet their idols. Many consider these youthful groups, generally centered around pop culture figures, to be a distraction for children as well as even a source of online bullying; an NPC delegate from Shandong, Song Wenxin (宋文新), proposed the problem be addressed through the regulation of talent agencies.