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Marriage Rule Change Features Privacy

The revision of China’s regulations governing marriage will give more privacy to individuals in divorces, an area of growing concern across the country, according to China Daily.

Wang Hongli, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs in charge of marriage affairs, was quoted as saying that the first draft of the revised marriage regulations has been completed.

The revisions are a result of complaints from the public on several points, said the newspaper.

Couples who want to break up in China have two choices. They can go to the civil affairs offices to end the relationship, or go to court.

However, Chinese people prefer breaking the knot within civil affairs departments because the procedure is quicker and cheaper than going to court. They regard legal action in court as a humiliating act as they are bound by the tradition that such “ugly things” from family life should be kept at home.

They do not like the fact that a signature from their employer is needed to divorce out of court. The requirement has often discouraged a couple from getting divorced as they fear they will become a laughing stock or be the subject of gossip.

According to Wang, a public hearing which gathers marriage and legal experts and people from all walks of life will be held soon to discuss how to update the regulations.

If everything goes well, the revisions will be sent to the State Council, for deliberation and approval later this year, said Wang.

(www.eastday.com 05/23/2001)

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