Seeing a foreign man and a Chinese girl holding hands, one might wonder "what's it like," or start to think about the rumors and myths that fly around about those people.
Metro Beijing has interviewed some people who have dared to cross the East-West divide and find out for themselves.
Here is their anecdotal and nonscientific guidance to those who want to try out an exotic relationship.
Meet the interviewees:
Charles Davidson: A 28-year-old Australian, Davidson has been involved in a romantic relationship with a Chinese girl for the last year and a half.
Carl Martin (pseudonym): A French expat, 30, Martin has been living in Beijing for six years. He used to date a few Chinese girls, and broke up with his last Chinese girlfriend because they mutually decided they were "not getting along."
Way Lin: Lin, 23, has been dating an American photographer for more than a year, and is seriously considering getting married.
Cindy Dong: A Chinese teacher, 24, Dong has been dating a guy from Mexico for ten months, and is still in the stage of "trying to make things work."
Carrie Niu (pseudonym): A single Chinese girl who claims to be 26, Niu dated a few foreign men back in the days. She broke up with her American ex-boyfriend about one year ago.
Miah Wang (pseudonym): A Chinese girl, 27, whose American boyfriend will be transferred to another country in May.
Foreigners pick out the ugliest women.
Niu: I've seen those kind of couples on the street. Foreigners prefer those girls with oriental characteristics, which the Chinese might consider as ugly.
Dong: I am not that pretty, but girls like me still find foreign boyfriends… I didn't mean girls with foreigners are ugly! In fact, most of them have at least average looks.
Foreigners have better performance in bed.
Martin: Many of my female friends and my ex-girlfriends told me it's true.
Dong: We haven't had sex yet, but my boyfriend told me foreigners, especially Latin Americans, are "fierce" in bed.
Lin: My boyfriend is my first love, so I don't have anybody else to compare him to.... [but the first American I went on a date with] dropped his pants, and I saw his little little brother.
Niu: Size doesn't matter, and being suitable for each other is important. Foreigners are more open in bed and they spare no efforts.
Wang: The foreigners, usually Europeans, are better since they usually start to have sex in their teens.
Chinese women who date foreigners are gold-diggers.
Lin: Of course there are some gold-diggers - jumping at every foreigner she sees, for money or a green card, under the delusion that every foreigner is rich. In bars I see girls who just zealously talk to foreigners, even the terrible-looking ones, as long as they splash some cash.
Niu: I have friends who just date those rich men. But come on, foreigners who have to work in China cannot be rich!
Foreigners are targeted by older or divorced women.
Niu: I have a friend who got remarried to a foreigner.
Martin: It's true. It's easy for young girls in their twenties to find someone, but hard for a 33-year-old woman. Foreigners don't really mind the age.
Chinese girlfriends are spoiled, moody, and dependent on the guys.
Niu: Chinese girls, including me, like to act like a spoiled child to get more attention.
Davidson: Chinese girls do act in a spoiled kind of way. Sometimes it's good, and I like it.
Martin: Chinese girlfriends are more moody and get angry more easily.
Lin: My mother told me not to lose my temper on my boyfriend.
Wang: My ex-boyfriend always used to complain about this. Now I always think again - Am I making an unreasonable request?
Chinese girls are traditional and take good care of their boyfriends.
Martin: My ex-girlfriend took such good care of me that sometimes I felt like she was like a "nanny."
Dong: My boyfriend is not fluent in Chinese, so I feel like I am obliged to make his life easier.
To Chinese girls, sex means marriage.
Davidson: I managed the situation by working out a time plan with my girlfriend.
Lin: To me, having sex means that this man is reliable, and we can have a future together.
Niu: To me, sex is more than physical needs.
Chinese parents-in-laws are a frightening species.
Dong: My parents are strongly against our relationship. They think I should stay with them, instead of living a drifting life with a foreigner.
Martin: One of my friends told me that his mother-in-law practically moved into their apartment, invading their life and making them crazy.
Chinese girls will weep over a break-up and maybe kill themselves.
Martin: The Chinese don't date a lot before marriage, and they expect to get serious very quickly.
Dong: I have no experience in breaking up. And I think I will definitely be devastated at first.
Niu: It has been a year and I still cannot forget my ex-boyfriend.
Lin: Every time we had a fight, I sobbed my heart out. Girls like me can definitely not get over a break-up.
Wang: My boyfriend will leave the country soon, which means we will probably break up. I hope I'll find a job there and move with him.