Marriage

A couple poses during a pre-nuptial photography session in front of Drum Tower in Beijing, China, on 21 December 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Elderly Chinese want a second chance at love

Demand for matchmaking services and platforms is on the rise for China’s growing elderly population. Though these people have plenty of life experience, it seems they still conform to the expectations of society, be it assessing a mate by monetary criteria or fearing gossip for seeking a second chance at love. Under the weight of societal norms, their quest for love is riddled with obstacles. On a lighter note, the plethora of elderly matchmaking variety shows that have spawned do provide some entertainment and fun for this segment of the population.
A gay pride parade in Taiwan, 2018. (Wikimedia)

Taiwan allowing cross-strait same-sex unions: A bargaining chip in the reunification tussle?

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has announced proposed amendments to the “Cross-Strait Act” to allow same-sex unions between partners from Taiwan and mainland China. Is this a bid by Taiwan to woo the gay community in mainland China ahead of reunification, as some netizens speculate? And will mainland China adopt an even more conservative position given that room to discuss LGBT issues has shrunk amid recent clampdowns? Zaobao’s China Desk delves into the topic.
People dressed in Hanfu, or Han clothing, walk at a theme park on Chinese National Costume Day in Changsha, Hunan province, China, 26 March 2020. (CNS photo via Reuters)

Was the Tang dynasty the golden era of women's rights in China?

Just as women in China today, especially rural women, have to contend with male favouritism and diminished rights, women in the Tang dynasty were also restricted by rules and social practices, even if the era in which female emperor Wu Zetian ruled was thought to be the golden era of women’s rights.
A couple with a child ride on a scooter in Shanghai, China, on 7 September 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

‘Leftover men’ in the Chinese countryside and ‘leftover women’ in Chinese cities

Perhaps the theory of the survival of the fittest can help to explain the opposite gender imbalance in rural-urban China. Aspirant males and females head to cities in search of better prospects; the latter, with the added aim of better marriage prospects, invariably outnumber the men. Of the males that stay or return, there is the heavy bride price to pay to win the hand of a lady among the smaller pool of women left in the rural areas. This modern malaise is something no provincial policy can easily solve, says economist Li Jingkui.
A couple hug as they look out at a night view through a fence at the Central Television Tower in Beijing, China, on 26 August 2021. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Rape accusations in China: When wives protect their errant husbands

The alleged rape case involving a former Alibaba manager kept netizens riveted as charges were dropped as quickly as arrests were made. Unlike the #MeToo movement in the West where many of the victims rally around each other to seek justice against their oppressors, in China, the female victims — those preyed upon and the wives of the alleged perpetrators — seem to be fighting each other in the aftermath of tragedies. Why aren’t the males involved manning up and owning up?
This photo taken on 25 May 2021 shows a woman posing for a picture on the Bund in Shanghai, China. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

More young and single Chinese women buying properties in China's top-tier cities

The trend of single women buying property in China’s top-tier cities is on the rise. They do it for many reasons — as insurance for the future, to have more choices, or for good old investment. While it seems on the surface that they are gaining financial freedom and moving away from depending on marriage as a security blanket, it also means they are laden with housing loans or tied down by their parents who often foot the down payments or even the whole cost of the house. Are they swapping one handcuff for another?
A woman carries an elderly woman as they make their way through floodwaters following heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, 23 July 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese economics professor: Why we should not profit from natural disasters

In the wake of floods in Henan and the case of a hotel that raised its prices sky-high, Henan native and economics professor Li Jingkui gives a rejoinder to purists who swear by market-based resource allocation. He says sometimes, special circumstances warrant intervention to ensure an orderly distribution of resources. Profiting from the misfortune of others is certainly not a virtue according to Confucius or any good economist.
A woman holds her child outside a shopping mall in Beijing, China, on 1 June 2021. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Why Chinese women are unwilling to give birth

Respect. Lorna Wei says the nub of the issue in the low fertility rate in China lies in that one word. Growing up in a patriarchal society, daughters in China have for years been looked upon as second to sons. When they become wives, mothers and daughters-in-law, they shoulder the bulk of familial duties while trying to keep their jobs. Any fertility policy should first address greater equality between the sexes. Only when parents are assured that their burdens will be shared can they look forward to having more children.
Wang Xiaofei and Barbie Hsu participated as a couple in the Chinese reality show Happiness Trio (幸福三重奏) in 2018. (Internet)

What does a celebrity’s divorce rumours tell us about cross-strait relations?

Social media went into overdrive when news that Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu and mainland Chinese hotelier Wang Xiaofei were headed for divorce surfaced. It appears that a difference in views on cross-strait issues could have been the cause. Whether the news is just a smokescreen or a reality, the prickly views expressed are symptomatic of declining relations between Taiwan and the mainland.