New Delhi: As an outcome of China’s one-child policy, more and more Chinese men are looking for a bride, and Beijing’s all-weather friend – Pakistan has a role to play.
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC has increased engagement in all spheres of society including people to people contact, spurring many marriages, often purely for economic reasons.
It has emerged that agents in China and Pakistan have used the garb of CPEC to literally kidnap girls from lower socio-economic backgrounds, especially from minority communities such as Christians, and marry them off to Chinese men.
Many such marriages have taken place in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin, and Faisalabad. For a prospect of a better life in China, many of the unsuspecting women take the bait, and much to their shock, life is not easy in the foreign land.
One of the biggest fallout of these marriages has been that the women who went away to China are unable to accept the Chinese way of life. A number of reports and complaints have been received from the women and their families about mistreatment by their husbands and in-laws.
An obvious reason for the existence of the current situation is a continuing gap in the demograph in China, combined with abject poverty in many places in Pakistan. Most of the Pakistani brides are from minority communities, and many times the Chinese side has been giving inflated information about their socio-economic status.
China’s one-child polic was adopted decades ago and with a preference for a male child it led to a skewed gender ratio that continues even today. The number of marriageable Chinese men outnumber women in the country by more than 30 million, as per the most recent estimates of December 2020.
While increased Pakistan-China partnership has played a role in societal engagement, many times at the detriment of the lower strata of society.