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“In his eyes, Mao was a horrible figure,” she said, “but he doesn’t know our parents’ generation still thinks he was amiable and respectable.” Many Chinese people in their fifties or sixties still sing “red songs” to pay tribute to Mao, and carry out memorial ceremonies for him annually, so he shouldn’t just identify Mao as a “dictator,” she tried to explain to him. A 21-year-old college student in Beijing, who would only like to be identified as Jean, tells me she dated a guy from the US two years ago.The relationship lasted for just six months, because Jean found they “couldn’t communicate” because of their “different standpoints.” Jean’s ex-boyfriend was nine years older than her, and a graduate student in international relations at another Beijing university.
It was interesting at first for Xu to learn about Spanish culture from her ex-boyfriend, she said, especially after feeling she had nothing to talk about with Chinese guys in her age because “everything is familiar.” But the remark about China’s former leader, Mao Zedong, was too alien, she said. She’s not happy about the word “dictator,” because that makes Mao the equivalent to Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin, Xu explained.
For many expats moving to Shanghai or Beijing, dating can be a vexed question.
Our online editor Mark Angus shares with us his experiences of living in Shanghai and how having a Chinese girlfriend enriched his life and enhanced his understanding of Chinese culture When I first moved to Shanghai in 2007, It was never my intention to find myself a partner.
The latest data, from a 2010 population census, shows more than 600,000 foreigners dwell in China, and 56% of them are male.
But while dating seems to be on the rise, marriage is still unusual—thanks to political differences that are often irreconcilable, according to the women I spoke to, who were all between 21 and 25, prime age to start looking for a husband in China.A recent Chinese propaganda campaign about national security uses a comic called “Dangerous Love” to warn Chinese women not to date foreigners.Li, a college graduate who works for the government, meets red-haired, beak-nosed David, who claims he is an academic, at a friend’s gathering.The real “danger” of love between a Chinese woman and a foreign man is that it doesn’t ultimately go anywhere, the women I talked to said.