<HTML><HEAD> <META name=GENERATOR content="MSHTML 8.00.6001.19019"></HEAD> <BODY> <H1 class="cN-headingPage articleHeading prepend-5 span-11 last">China hits hip pocket in a blitz on divorce </H1> <DIV class="push-0 span-11 last"><!-- cT-storyDetails --> <DIV class="cT-storyDetails cfix"> <H5>Malcolm Moore </H5><CITE>August 23, 2011</CITE> <!--<ul> --><!-- --></DIV> <DIV id=googleAds class="ad adSpot-textBox"></DIV><BOD> <DIV class=articleBody><!-- cT-imageLandscape --> <DIV class=cT-imageLandscape><IMG alt="Not for money ... the Chinese government is making it harder for women to marry men for their financial wealth." src="ctsipad-art-wide-pg7-china-wedding-420x0.jpg"> <P>Not for money ... the Chinese government is making it harder for women to marry men for their financial wealth. <EM>Photo: AFP</EM></P></DIV> <P>SHANGHAI: With divorce rates soaring and widespread worries about a culture of materialism, the Chinese government is now trying to stop women marrying for money.</P> <P>In China's booming cities, prospective husbands are vetted about whether they own a house, and preferably also a car, before a match can be agreed.</P> <P>In an attempt to temper the expectations of Chinese women, the Supreme Court has ruled that the person who buys the family home, or the parents who advance them the money, will get to keep it in the event of a divorce.</P> <P>''Hopefully this will help educate younger people, especially younger women, to be more independent, and to think of marriage in the right way rather than worshipping money so much,'' Hu Jiachu, a lawyer in Hunan province, said.</P> <P>The ruling should help relieve the burden on young men, many of whom fret about the difficulty of buying an apartment. China's property bubble has driven property prices in Shanghai up to $7934 per square metre when annual salaries average just $9521.</P> <P>''There are more and more girls who want to marry rich men and improve their financial position. It has been a notable increase,'' Wang Zhiguo, a consultant at Baihe, a Beijing-based matchmaking website, said. ''Most pretty girls now try to trade on their beauty. It is an unhealthy trend and the government is now trying to restrict it.''</P> <P>Recent statistics show there were 2.68 million divorces last year and divorces have multiplied at almost the same speed as the economy has grown: by 7 per cent a year for five years.</P> <P><STRONG>Telegraph, London </STRONG></P></DIV></BOD></DIV></BODY></HTML>