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Death of Chinese Boys in Dumpster Shows Lack of Care, Daily Says

The death of five runaway boys in one of China’s poorest province, killed by carbon monoxide from charcoal they burned inside a dumpster in which they took shelter, shows a lack of family responsibility, a commentary in the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party said.

The five boys in Guizhou province weren’t in school and had run away from home, showing a lack of care by their families, the commentary published in today’s People’s Daily said. Parents have the same responsibility to their children, no matter if they’re poor or migrant workers, according to the commentary written by Wang Yunna, who wasn’t identified.

Today’s People’s Daily article follows others, such as a Nov. 21 commentary in the Procuratorial Daily, that have called the death of the boys evidence of the growing pressure on rural households as more working-age residents leave farms to find work in cities. Family care for children is “indispensable,” the People’s Daily article said.

The five boys in Guizhou were the sons of three brothers, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Nov. 20. Two of the fathers worked as trash collectors in the southern city of Shenzhen, while the other farmed land in their home town, according to the report. Four of the boys were left under the care of a blind grandmother, according to Xinhua.

China’s urban population surpassed that of the countryside for the first time in the nation’s history last year, according to government statistics. The nation’s has more than 150,000 “street children,” Xinhua reported.

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