Love in modern China: Matchmakers, moms and the Internet – AP

From the AP. via the Star:

Romance and have changed drastically in China after 25 years of breakneck economic growth and looser social controls.

In a country now wide open to Western influences, even Valentine’s Day is making inroads, with chocolates, dinner dates, flowers and cards all becoming popular expressions of affection on the occasion.

For centuries, families relied on village matchmakers. Then came communist-era unions sanctioned _ and sometimes arranged _ by government companies for their employees. Today, the search is fueled by personal choice, sped up by the convenience of the latest technology.

“China is now free and transparent. Everyone has the freedom to find their partner,” said Wang Peng, a divorced 43-year-old who was making his first visit to the Beijing Military and Civilian Matchmaking Service.

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