Is There a Connection Between Millennial Attitudes and China’s Marriage Rate?


In the days leading up to China’s annual Spring Festival, a Beijing freelance writer attempted to reconcile parents and unmarried children this week, as young Chinese throughout the country anticipate the inevitable “So, have you met anyone yet?” conversation.

According to Zhu Jun, “these ‘leftover’ men and women have become targets of a crusade in which their parents are willing to resort to any tactic to get them down the aisle alongside a suitable partner.”

Meanwhile, a veteran journalist condemned Hong Kong’s “selfish young people” for being a “menace to society” on Saturday.

So, are China’s millennials just spoilt, or do their overbearing parents need to take a back seat in their children’s affairs, starting from 2015?

According to Beijing’s Zhu, the single “targets” of their “pushy parents”‘ crusades are forced to suffer under the burden of guilt trips and the “grip of forced marriage.”

The freelancer offers a series of tips for the aggrieved singles of China, including a “delay” strategy, whereby promises are given to parents, assuring them that a partner will be secured as soon as possible; providing strict requirements for a prospective spouse, such as “a government job and high salary”; and preparing adequately for dates set up by parents so that it will end up being a terrible experience (“for a young guy blind-dating a nurse, just talk about the worsening relations between doctors and patients, and show resentment for hospitals”).

Meanwhile, journalist Leung Kwok-leung seems like he has had enough of the attitudes of Chinese youth, using the Chinese literary classic “Dream of the Red Mansion” to illustrate his point.

According to Leung, adult-aged children who continue to rely on the support of their parents–labeled “parent consumers”–represent a “widespread” problem, while 2014’s “Occupy Central” campaign was merely attended by selfish, anti-social youths.

This is an unresolved debate that is likely to continue long into the future. However, one thing is for certain: China’s young singles prefer to stay at home when they are not working.

Zhu’s op-ed was published after data from 2014 shows that single people in China prefer domestic activities, including online shopping, over socializing in after-hours venues.



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