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Nevertheless, especially in the countryside, there are few opportunities to meet potential mates.
Rural China offers little privacy for courtship, and in villages there is little public tolerance for flirting or even extended conversation between unmarried men and women.
[Source: Library of Congress] “In the past, marriage was seen as the concern of families as well as of the two parties to the match.
Families united by marriage were expected to be of equivalent status, or the groom's family to be of somewhat higher status.
Introductions and gobetweens continue to play a major role in the arrangement of marriages.
In most cases each of the young people, and their parents, has an effective veto over any proposed match.
The average age for marriage in 2001 was 24 for men and 23 for women.The event is sanctioned by the community and relatives and often oriented as much to show respect for parents as sanction the union between a man and woman.The Marriage Law of 1950 guarantees everyone the freedom to choose his or her marriage partner.Another survey found that a quarter of the urban, unmarried women wanted to marry but not have children.About 11 percent said they would prefer to stay single.