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He’d better buy flowers and spring for a classy dinner on Valentine’s Day (as well as on the traditional Chinese equivalent, Qixi (in August; the date varies year-to-year based on the lunar calendar), but in Beijing the Western version is considered more important by most people).
She met him at a party, and developed feelings for him after learning he had carried out missions in Afghanistan. Sally ended the relationship, and started a new one with a Swedish citizen who is ethnically Chinese after she moved back to Shanghai.This is predominantly a rural phenomenon (in cities, where women are not needed for physical labor and society is changing fast, the girl/boy birth rate has essentially equalised), but spills over into the cities with migration.The women of Beijing come from all over the country, drawn for professional opportunity and a more exciting life, and the city is full of sophisticated, successful women with high standards.The latest data, from a 2010 population census, shows more than 600,000 foreigners dwell in China, and 56% of them are male.But while dating seems to be on the rise, marriage is still unusual—thanks to political differences that are often irreconcilable, according to the women I spoke to, who were all between 21 and 25, prime age to start looking for a husband in China.Singles attend a blind date at a hotel in Haidian District, Beijing, April 9, 2017.
More than 1,000 single men and women who are studying at top schools such as Peking, Tsinghua and Renmin universities participated the event that lasted for four hours and included five-minute speed dates and games.
“In his eyes, Mao was a horrible figure,” she said, “but he doesn’t know our parents’ generation still thinks he was amiable and respectable.” Many Chinese people in their fifties or sixties still sing “red songs” to pay tribute to Mao, and carry out memorial ceremonies for him annually, so he shouldn’t just identify Mao as a “dictator,” she tried to explain to him. A 21-year-old college student in Beijing, who would only like to be identified as Jean, tells me she dated a guy from the US two years ago.
The relationship lasted for just six months, because Jean found they “couldn’t communicate” because of their “different standpoints.” Jean’s ex-boyfriend was nine years older than her, and a graduate student in international relations at another Beijing university.
She said her current boyfriend is “too young, too naive” (a reference to a 2000 press conference in which former Chinese president Jiang Zemin criticized a reporter who asked a tough question) thanks to the “one-sided” China news he learned from western media.
Her boyfriend is always reading some “banned stuff” on the internet, she said, and then recklessly talking about it on the street in Shanghai. The “banned stuff” includes the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Dalai Lama, Falun Gong, and violence in Muslim-majority Xinjiang region, topics which are heavily censored by the Great Firewall.
Many Chinese women have shrugged off the spy warning—but say relationships between Chinese women and foreign men are anything but smooth.