Single? Get a foreign wife!

Lately, Chinese media has been publishing a lot of articles about Chinese men married to or dating foreign women. This and this are just a couple of examples that were shared on WeChat this past week. Searching 洋媳妇 (foreign wife) in Baidu News gives over 10,000 results. Many of the articles emphasize that the Chinese man was from a rural background or didn’t have much money, but the foreign woman didn’t care about this because he was a good man.

But there are also foreign women married to rich and famous Chinese men. Actor Liu Ye and his French wife Anaïs Martane.

But there are also foreign women married to rich and famous Chinese men. Actor Liu Ye and his French wife Anaïs Martane.

I can’t help but wonder, why this “flood” of articles about AMWF couples? If they were blog posts I would not be surprised, but news on mainstream media…  with everything that is happening in the world, is the fact that a woman from country X married a Chinese man newsworthy?

Could this be a campaign orchestrated by the Chinese government? After all, what Chinese media publishes is often “inspired” by directives coming from the high spheres. A few years ago it was very common to come across articles shaming single Chinese women: you are a leftover woman, don’t be too picky, settle down and get married as soon as possible, women need a husband and kids to be happy. That narrative seems to have been exhausted now, but there are still a lot of single men in China.

I can imagine the thinking heads of the high spheres’ trail of thoughts: “We have shamed the single women for years but things haven’t changed much. What can we do? We can’t afford having so many single men! They have a lot of potential for trouble!”. Then someone’s idea center lighted up: “Let’s convince them that getting a foreign wife is easy! We kill two birds with one stone! We don’t need to harass single women anymore and the men would have hopes!”.

Daniel Wu and Lisa Selesner. Actor Daniel Wu is considered one of the hottest men in China and probably has a lot of money too, so it's not like he couldn't get a Chinese wife...

Daniel Wu and Lisa Selesner. Actor Daniel Wu is considered one of the hottest men in China and probably has a lot of money too, so it’s not like he couldn’t get a Chinese wife…

In those articles, foreign women are pictured as beautiful, loving young women who only marry for love and don’t care about anything else. One of the articles I linked in the first paragraph is about an American woman who married a security guard. This 24 year old girl from Tajikistan married a construction worker and lives in the workers’ temporary houses. The underlying message seems to be: “A Chinese woman wouldn’t marry you if you didn’t have a home, a car and a high paying job, these foreigners are much better”. Then there is the other side of the spectrum: men who bought a wife from a poor country also get articles telling their story (is buying a wife even legal?).

If you are thinking about travelling abroad to “fish” a wife (because some articles make it seem it’s as easy as that) this news site tells you the 15 countries with the most beautiful women, so you can narrow down your destination (the title of the article is: “The 15 countries with the most beautiful women. Do you want to marry a foreign wife? Go to these countries”). It made me remember a story from my first year in Beijing. One of my classmates was Japanese. For some reason I never found out, he thought Spanish women were very open about sex. He honestly thought that if he went to Spain he would be able to hook up with any hottie he met on the street.

Being on an AMWF relationship myself, of course I support other intercultural couples and hope they become more and more common. But this sudden explosion of “amwf news” in the Chinese media makes me suspicious that there are ulterior motives behind. Or maybe I’m thinking too much and it’s just that news outlets don’t know what to publish anymore and present any a-bit-out-of-the-ordinary personal story as “news”!

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