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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 07:56 GMT
China divorce rate rises by 20%
Couple in Beijing, file image
A 2003 law change means divorces can be obtained within one day
The divorce rate in China has increased by almost 20% over the past year, with 1.4m couples filing for separation during 2007, government officials say.

Some experts put the rise down to a change in the law which has made divorces easier to obtain.

Others say China's one-child policy has produced a generation of adults focused on their own needs and unable to sustain a relationship.

The government also reported that the number of marriages rose by 12%.

The rising divorce rate is part of a long-term trend.

Since China began its market reforms in the late 1970s, the number of people getting a divorce has quadrupled.

This has been exacerbated by a change in the law in 2003 allowing couples to divorce in a day, analysts say.

Previously, couples needed permission from either their employers or community committees to divorce.

The increase in break-ups did not mean that Chinese were losing faith in marriage, said Xu Anqi of the Shanghai Academy of Social Science.

"People's expectations are higher. The things couples compromised on 10 years ago aren't tolerated today," she told China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

Has China's one-child policy worked?
20 Sep 07 |  Asia-Pacific
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24 Aug 07 |  Asia-Pacific

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