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The price of progress in China?

August 10th, 2011

by Carolyn Moynihan

Some see it as a sign of greater freedom in China and therefore progress, but not all Chinese are happy that the divorce rate is burgeoning, reports China Daily.

Shu Xin, director of the China Marriage and Family Affairs Consulting and Research Center, a nongovernmental organization, warns about the negative effects on children and the “public security” issues arising from enmity between ex-spouses and even “extremes in revenge”.

Traditional family values are being discarded, and parents no longer care as much about their children:

Under those social standards, Shu said, if it came to divorce, “the couple would rather give up anything to fight for custody of the child. But nowadays, many couples consider the children as barriers for their remarriage. As long as they can get rid of the burden, they would love to provide more economic compensation.”

Already family breakdown has made inroads on children’s wellbeing:

A recent survey of 5,000 younger students at 70 Beijing middle schools showed that at least 20 percent have psychological problems in varying degrees. And 65 percent of those students come from single-parent families.

These kids have a lot of problems, Shu said. “However, tracing the sources, all are family problems. The development of juveniles needs care from both parents. It’s indispensable.”

Interesting, isn’t it, that such sensible comments get reported in an official newspaper. Here’s a bit more:

Shu admits he has no data, but he suspects that extramarital affairs are responsible for 70 percent of divorces. He sees infidelity as evidence of moral decline and the collapse of social restraints on unacceptable behavior.

Read his example of how this happens in the original article.

Beijing lawyer Wang Xiuquan points out that heavy workloads, use of the internet and increasing social activities also drive couples apart and present opportunities for extra-marital affairs. Mature women with independent financial resources –often earning more than their husbands — are among his main clients.

Keep reading.

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  1. Daughter of Eve
    August 10th, 2011 at 21:33 | #1

    “many couples consider the children as barriers”

    Small wonder. The Chinese govt. has done everything possible to create the notion that any child beyond the first is disposable, and has paid, coerced, threatened, and incentivized the disposal of unwanted children. Should they be surprised, then, when couples put themselves ahead of their children, by disposing of their unwanted relationships?

    Cutting themselves off, both root and branch….

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