Mainland men appear to have more merits than their Hong Kong counterparts in the eyes of Hong Kong women, according to a survey.
That can explain why marriages between Hong Kong women and mainland men have surged in the past two decades, Hong Kong Ideas Centre (HKIC) said.
The group released its second report on cross-border marriages on Tuesday.
Citing data from the Census and Statistics Department, HKIC said 7,626 Hong Kong women were married to mainland men in 2016, more than double the 1997 figure of 2,190, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
In contrast, marriages between Hong Kong men and mainland women have dropped 45 percent to 15,300 from 28,309 during the 20-year period.
There were about 488,000 cross-border marriages involving Hongkongers and mainland Chinese people from the handover in 1997 to 2016.
HKIC conducted the survey in June and July and talked to 804 people who entered into this kind of marriage and conducted an in-depth interview with 33 people.
The survey showed that in general, Hong Kong women consider mainland men more generous, forthright, competent and goal-oriented, while Hong Kong men are relatively less mature and like to “square accounts in every detail”.
As for Hong Kong men, they appreciate mainland women’s diligence and dedication to families, unlike Hong Kong women who tend to give priority to their careers and are individualistic.
Meanwhile, the survey also found that most couples in cross-border marriages who live in Hong Kong are considering moving to other places mainly due to overcrowded living conditions and high home prices in the city.
About 55 percent of the respondents said they would like to live in the Pearl River Delta and in parts of Shenzhen in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, with some saying that doing so can help them move up the social ladder to “upper middle class” from “middle class”.
HKIC executive director Anna Lai said such thinking may result from the fact that the number of Hong Kong women married to mainland men has been increasing and the former normally follow the latter when it comes to choice of residence.
In addition, the China-Hong Kong conflict and the social rifts in Hong Kong in the past few years have also affected some couples’ relationships, according to the survey.
A Hong Kong woman in her thirties who married a mainland man said she and her husband sometimes quarreled over political issues involving China and Hong Kong, adding that their solution is to agree not to talk about politics so as to avoid frictions.
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