Staff complains about obligatory blind dates as China sees single people as problem

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/21 23:33:39

CYL guidelines show govt worried by high rate of young singletons: expert

Young single people have been complaining that their employers forced singletons of marriageable age to participate in organized blind dates, after China's Communist Youth League (CYL) issued a guideline intended to help young people find the right partner.

He Junke, a senior official with the CYL Central Committee, said Wednesday that love and marriage is a big issue for youth development, so the CYL will educate young people to establish proper values for love and marriage and organize social activities for them.

Many Sina Weibo users complained that their employers had forced them to participate in mass blind date events which were held in parks and stadiums, and the employers would count their absence as absenteeism if they refused to go.

"All the singletons in my company were forced to go to a blind date party this Saturday, and men were asked to lift the women in their arms [like a bride] at the party, which was really awkward," Xiao Qiu, an employee at a State-owned company in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province, told the Global Times.

More and more young people in China choose to be single because many face high pressure in their lives and have no time to socialize. Society should organize more activities for young people to meet other people, but forcing them to go on blind dates should not be encouraged, Yuan Xin, a professor at Nankai University and an expert on family planning policy, told the Global Times, adding that the high rate of single people will affect social stability.

Yuan noted that the CYL guidelines revealed that the country's current marriage situation is worrying the government.

"A high population of single males might also cause many other social problems such as sexual violence, women and child trafficking, not to mention the pension burden they will bring about when they get old," Yuan said.

Wang Guangzhou, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted by the People's Daily in February as saying that the number of unmarried Chinese men between 35 and 59 will reach 15 million in 2020 and 30 million in 2050.

Statistics suggest that China's population of single people had reached 200 million by 2015, the China Youth Daily reported in 2016.

Many cities across the country held large-scale blind date events for singletons on May 20 as the pronunciation of "520" is homophonic for "I Love You" in Chinese.

More than 10,000 people gathered at a square in Hefei, East China's Anhui Province and more than 300 employers in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province organized a "carnival" for their employees to meet the opposite sex, where 15 people found partners within half an hour, media reported.

Meanwhile, more than 6,000 couples registered their marriages in Beijing on May 20, the Beijing News reported.

Newspaper headline: Staff complains about obligatory blind dates

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