China pushes for organized blind dates

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/18 23:18:39

Data shows more than 100 million adult Chinese people remain single

Parents take pictures in front of a wall where information about more than 800 young singletons is posted ahead of a blind date matchmaking activity in a shopping mall in Zhoushan, East China’s Zhejiang Province on March 26, 2017. Photo: CFP

Young singles are encouraged to participate in organized blind dates following a guideline issued by the Central Committee of China's Communist Youth League (CYL) to help young people find the right partner.

The notice was jointly published by the CYL, Ministry of Civil Affairs and National Health and Family Planning Commission on September 12, which said that helping young people find the right partner has a direct impact on their further development, which affects societal harmony and stability.

The notice also said that "a civilized, healthy and rational concept of love and marriage" should be combined with socialist core values.

In response to the call, the CYL Zhejiang Provincial Committee established a special department for matchmaking in June and organized a blind date event which attracted 5,000 people.

Aside from CYL committees, other government bodies such as labor unions and women's federations also played Cupid.

"Family is society's basic unit. Without a family, people will lose their motivation to work diligently, and too many single people will eventually affect social stability," an employee at the Women's Federation in Pizhou, East China's Jiangsu Province surnamed Suo told the Global Times on Monday.

Suo has organized several blind dates for government employees.

The 28-year-old Zeng's boss at a State owned company in Beijing warmed up to Suo's idea. Zeng told the Global Times that he's allowed to take a day off when going on a blind date.

"My boss believes that a man will only be committed to work after he has a family," Zeng said.

While most Chinese netizens welcome the development, some disapprove of organizational interference.

An anonymous Internet user said on Zhihu, a Chinese Quora-like website, that her company's labor union often calls her. "It (labor union) said that work is less important than marriage, and women are destined to get married," she said, adding that she finally blocked the labor union after it called her a fourth time.

Organizers said that few people successfully find a match at those blind date events. "It's too short a time to get to know each other. And the men who attend are usually younger than the women," Suo said.

Official data shows that more than 100 million Chinese people of marrying age remain single. The sixth census conducted in 2010 revealed that 2.47 percent of women above the age of 30 are single, China News Service reported in June.

Newspaper headline: Nation pushes for organized blind dates


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