--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Making Marriage Easier
In China’s mainland, people who plan to marry have to prove their single status by presenting their ID card, hukou (household register) book and a “unit” recommendation to the civil affairs department. This procedure will now be streamlined. The compulsory unit recommendation may no longer be necessary. In the near future, it will only be necessary to present an ID card and hukou book to marry the love of one’s life.

With the advent of new marriage laws, the civil affairs department made some amendments to the Regulations Governing Marriage Registration. Now the draft amendment has been handed over to the State Council for examination and approval. The aim of the amendment is to “simplify the procedure” and protect the privacy of couples. While drafting the amendments, discussions on who shall be responsible for the proof of marriage and whether unit recommendation letters are necessary for marriage and divorce will be talked about.

The Regulations Governing Marriage Registration, released in 1994, demanded that marriage registration could only take place once both parties presented proof of their marital status, supplied by their respective units, to the civil affairs department. However, this regulation was not supported by either the Marriage Law or Civil Procedure Law. Also, it blurred the legal responsibility between individuals and units. A unit could not be held ultimately responsible for the marriage of couples. With social and economic developments, the conception of a unit is becoming increasingly vague. People who do not belong to any particular unit may encounter problems, and some people have been known to forge unit documents. It is actually quite difficult to ensure the authenticity of the unit recommendations. Some units even take advantage of their position in these matters by charging couples.

A manager working for the marriage registration department said, "More and more people are not willing to explore their marital status with their units and their leaders, especially in cases of divorce. Some have asked us whether or not they can skip the procedure altogether."

The core principle of the Marriage Law is "marriage according to one's own free will." The "free will" includes the freedom to marry and divorce. At the time the marriage registration department made the regulations there was a relatively weak concept of privacy. However, with advancements in the legal system, a marrying couple may take full legal responsibility for their actions. It is considered rational and practical to withdraw the role of the unit from the marriage procedure.

A director of Guangzhou city’s Civil Affairs Bureau said the marriage registration procedure reforms reflect an increasing trend, and a national system of management will stamp out any attempts by authorities to prevent marriages and take advantage of loopholes in the system.

Less restriction means more freedom of choice. If the unit's recommendation letters are abandoned, citizens will have more rights and increasing freedom to become masters of their own fates.

(china.org.cn by Li Liangdu, November 24, 2002)

Guangdong Citizens Permitted to Join Spouses in HK
Choosing a Mate Changing
Museum Preserves Marriage Culture
Love Between Manila and Shanghai
Beauty of Bouyei Marriage Culture Preserved in Private Museum
Wedding Industry Booms in China
The Changing Attitudes and Values in the New China
Repentant Love
Dowry Shows Better Living in Muslim Community
Hard to Say 'I Do'
Chinese Scholar Wins Family Study Awards
Marriage Most Stable When Husband Earns Twice as Much as Wife
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688