From the Chinese press

Updated: 2014-08-20 07:11

(China Daily)

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Celebrities must say no to drugs

A number of celebrities have been detained on drug-related charges during an anti-drug crackdown. Drugs are common in the entertainment industry because people show too much tolerance to stars' bad behavior, says a commentary on Excerpts:

Jaycee Chan, the son of kung fu superstar Jackie Chan, was arrested in his home in Beijing and charged with taking drugs. Chan's arrest came shortly after Zhang Mo, the son of another movie star, was also detained for drug offence.

A number of actors, screenwriters and singers have been detained on drug charges after the authorities crackdown on and vowed to wipe out drugs.

Society's tolerance for people using drugs may be another reason for their prevalence. A supporter of the popular actor Gao Hu who was arrested for using drugs posted a comment on the actor's micro blog: "I don't think there is anything wrong with taking drugs. It's just a personal pastime. We are waiting for you and will support you as always."

Many young people look up to celebrities as their role models. The frequent exposure of celebrities taking drugs and the understatement of the consequences may mislead them to believe that drug use is no big deal. According to statistics from the Ministry of Public Security, people under the age of 35 accounted for 75 percent of the new drug addicts in 2013. The youngest was only 8.

Drugs are extremely destructive to people's physical and mental health and should never be tolerated. Recently, 42 entertainment and performance agencies reached an agreement, organized by the Beijing Trade Association for Performances, to boycott celebrities who take drugs. Only when celebrities involved in drug-related scandals face serious consequences detrimental to their career will they keep away from drugs.

Welcome move to prevent divorce

The civil affairs department of Xi'an, Shaanxi province, has set a quota of dealing with 10 to 15 divorce cases a day, because it wants to give couples more time to ponder over their decision. The move, though controversial, is aimed at preventing couples from ending what is supposed to be a lifelong relationship on impulse, says an article on Excerpts:

Tearing down 10 temples is not as detrimental as wrecking a family, goes a Chinese saying. The Xi'an civil affairs department has not set a daily quota for divorce cases to interfere with couples' right to get a divorce. It simply wants to give more time to couples to reconcile their differences and realize their mistakes, and thus prevent their impulses from ruining what could have been a happy lifelong bond.

If the rate of broken marriages keeps increasing, it could lead to social instability. And children from broken marriages can suffer permanent psychological damage; for example, a broken home can make a child lose his self-esteem.

So there is no harm in trying to reduce the rate of divorce through justified means. As a matter of fact, the quota has worked. In 2013, Xi'an saw 40 fewer divorces than the previous year. Many couples who failed to get a divorce because of the daily quota did not show up the next day. If the civil affairs department officials handle divorce cases indifferently, hundreds of families that could have been saved would be ruined forever.

The Xi'an civil affairs department is trying to give couples who file for divorce a second chance to ponder whether their decisions were taken on impulse and hence were wrong. Therefore, instead of criticizing the move, people should appreciate it.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

(China Daily 08/20/2014 page9)