More than 5,000 people from Guangdong Province marry residents from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions every year.
The figure from the Guangdong provincial bureau of civil affairs, which some say is indicative of the growing ties between the regions, represents more than 40 percent of Hong Kong and Macao residents marrying those from the mainland.
Of those who tie the knot with Hong Kong and Macao residents, 84 percent are women, said Chen Wanling, the bureau official in charge of marriage registration.
The trend is expected to continue, with even more Guangdong men getting Hong Kong wives following a dip in the late 1990s, said Chen.
"This is because of expanding contacts within the regions," she said.
Many Guangdong natives expect to get permanent residence rights in the two special administrative regions by marrying a resident from there, following simplified emigration procedures introduced in recent years.
Holders of Hong Kong passports currently do not need visas for more than 140 countries and regions worldwide.
Some Guangdong residents also want to avoid the mainland's family-planning policy by legally having their second child in Hong Kong or Macao, said Chen.
White-collar worker Wang Shanhong said Hong Kong is still a shopping paradise and offers numerous opportunities for young people as a modern metropolis.
"I would like to emigrate to Hong Kong via marriage if I meet the man I love," said the 28-year-old Guangzhou resident.
(China Daily November 15, 2007)