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Social media a marriage killer in China: Experts

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Beijing: While social media was designed to bring people together, it can sometimes drive them apart — more Chinese people are switching their status from married to single and social media could be responsible, say experts.

A report by the ministry of civil affairs in June found that 3.637 million couples divorced in 2014, up by 3.9 percent from the previous year, Xinhua reported.

Statistics from the ministry show the country has been witnessing a continuous rise in divorces since 2002.

Su, a white collar worker from Shanghai, was stunned and furious after discovering her husband’s secret romances online.

She found he viewed dating websites, and was in touch with many girlfriends on different social networks. Some relationships were more than a decade old, long before they got married.

“Since we have a child, I will not consider divorcing. But our relationship is dead,” she told Xinhua.

A man, requesting anonymity, said he uses social networks to look for dates while on business trips.

Yu Kun, a Beijing-based psychologist, said among all extramarital affairs of his clients, about half of them were initiated through the internet.

But most experts said social media generally only affects relationships that were already strained.

In some cases, social networking apps can be a tool in dismantling an already fragile marriage, according to Chen Yiyun, an expert from the marriage and family research institute under the All-China Women’s Federation.

Social media is never the root cause of divorce, said Han Junmei, a commentator on www.workercn.com.

“Incompatibility undermines marriages and social networks just increases the possibility of breaking up,” she wrote.

Social media is not the only factor behind the rising divorce rate. The younger generation’s attitude toward marriage has also changed.

“In the past, people were more conservative and saw it as a shame to get divorced,” marriage consultant Shu Xin said.

“Nowadays, people care more about the quality of marriage and are more willing to break social norms for the sake of happiness.”

(IANS)

 

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Online Debate Over US-China Trade Negotiations Erased by Chinese Censors

It was not clear exactly why the comments were censored. Chinese officials on Monday were keen to show that Beijing had stood firm in the talks.

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Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.
A selection of the censored comments were published by the Chinese Media Project. In one, a Weibo user, referring to US President Donald Trump, said: "The madman won."

Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.

After the announcement on Sunday by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that planned tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese goods would be put “on hold”, posts on the microblogging site Weibo discussing the deal were immedietly deleted, according to a research initiative studying Chinese media.

A selection of the censored comments were published by the Chinese Media Project. In one, a Weibo user, referring to US President Donald Trump, said: “The madman won.”

Another deleted post said China’s bid to get US sanctions lifted on the telecommunications equipment maker ZTE had been unsuccessful, according to a report in the Guardian.

“The other points of compromise — or kneeling, to put it more sharply — are small matters,” the user wrote, according to the project.

Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, wikimedia commons

On Saturday, Beijing and Washington released a statement saying they had come to a consensus of “effective measures” to narrow the US’ huge trade deficit with China.

It was not clear exactly why the comments were censored. Chinese officials on Monday were keen to show that Beijing had stood firm in the talks.

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A researcher for China’s Commerce Ministry said that the country had demonstrated three “bottom lines”, which were: It would not cut exports to the US in order to reduce the trade deficit, no target was set for reducing the deficit — Trump had previously pushed for a $200 billion reduction — and China upheld its right to upgrade its industry.

The White House’s threatened tariffs had targeted Beijing’s “Made in China” industrial programme.

“Despite all the pressure, China didn’t ‘fold’, as Trump observed”, the state-run China Daily said in an editorial. “Instead, it stood firm and continually expressed its willingness to talk”. (IANS)

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