The number of marriages between Chinese
people and foreigners is on the increase, but so too is the rate at which
they are getting divorced.
According to recent statistics from the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau,
the number of intercultural marriages of Shanghai is rising steadily.
In 2006, 2,960 marriages involving Chinese nationals and foreigners
were registered in Shanghai, up 22.97 percent on the previous year.
However, the number of mixed couples getting divorced in 2006 also
increased to 355.
The figures showed that marriages had taken place between Chinese
people and foreigners from 55 nations and regions. Chinese-Japanese and
Chinese-Canadian pairings were found to be the most likely to end in
Although divorce has traditionally been discouraged in China, its
incidence has risen rapidly since the 1980s. And with more and more mixed
marriages ending in divorce, there is now a growing need for help and
advice for those dealing with life after a failed marriage.
A web-based survey conducted by the Weiqing Divorcees Club found that
many of its members had been in unhappy cross-cultural marriages.
"Loneliness, cultural differences and adapting to a new lifestyle were
quoted as the main reasons for not being happy," the club's head Shu Xin
The club provides a range of services, such as helping with the divorce
process and advising on the process of getting remarried. On a more
positive note, it also gives lectures on how to make a success of
The Shanghai-based club claims to have about 1 million online members,
most of whom come from major cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Almost 10
percent of its members are classed as foreigners, which encompasses
expatriates, American-Chinese and those from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.