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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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Chinese Double Amputee Climbs Mount Everest

A 70-year-old Chinese mountaineer who lost both legs to frostbite while attempting to climb Mount Everest four decades ago has successfully climbed the mountain in his fifth attempt.

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Everest. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

A 70-year-old Chinese mountaineer who lost both legs to frostbite while attempting to climb Mount Everest four decades ago has successfully climbed the mountain in his fifth attempt.

Xia Boyu, 70, reached the top of the world’s highest peak at 8.40 a.m. on Monday, becoming the first double leg amputee to accomplish the feat from the Nepal side, said Tourism Ministry official Gyanendra Shrestha from Everest Base Camp, the Kathmandu Post reported on Tuesday.

More than 50 other climbers also succeeded in scaling the summit, said the official.

The same day Steve Plain, an Australian, also reached the Everest, setting a speed record for climbing the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents.

Xia was part of a 20-man Chinese Everest expedition mission that tried to scale the 8,848 metre peak in 1975. However, about 200 metre from the top the climbers were forced to turn back due to high-altitude storms.

That time Xia suffered severe frostbite and lost both his legs. He returned to Mount Everest in 2014, but an avalanche killed 16 Nepali high-altitude guides that time, forcing the expedition to call off its summit bid.

US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an "incorrect map" of China.
Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

He was back in 2015, but again the climbing season was abandoned when a powerful earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, killing 20 on the Everest.

Xia made his last attempt in 2016 but bad weather forced him to turn back. His dream was nearly shattered after the government amended the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation in December, prohibiting double amputees, persons without arms and legs and blind persons from attempting to climb mountains in Nepal.

However, disability advocacy groups filed a petition in the Supreme Court, arguing that the government had violated the rights of differently-abled people and the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities.

Subsequently, the court overruled the controversial government ban in March, allowing Xia to fulfil his four-decade-old dream.

Xia was quoted by the People’s Daily telling a friend earlier this week that he had been preparing for the moment for 43 years.

Also Read: A long road home: The persecution of Chinese-Indians

“It’s not been easy for me to reach the peak of Mount Everest which I’ve dreamed of.”

He is the second double amputee to climb the Everest after New Zealander Mark Inglis, who reached the peak from the Tibetan side in 2006, the Guardian reported.

Santiago Quintero, who had half of each foot amputated during a climb in south America, also reached the peak in 2013. (IANS)

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