Cross Border Marriage Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3062 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage


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The following study will research and examine cross-border marriages in the country of China to mainland Hong Kong, which will be a study of the direction of the migration, flows involving women leaving poorer regions to go to richer ones. This work will specifically examine cases of inter-regime marriages between Hong Kong and mainland China and as well will examine when this trend started and will analyze the cultural, socioeconomic and geopolitical factors that lead to cross-border marriages between local-born Hong Kong men and mainland Chinese women. This work will examine the rationales behind the intermarriage of individuals with very different attributes and as well the social changes that are connected to these cross-border marriages and how it has changed and what the situation is like today. Investigated as well in this study will be the social environment problems such as cross-border concubines, marriage brokers, legal and illegal-increases in fake marriages of convenience as women marry into more desirable locations within and beyond China's borders, creating a shortage of brides in more remote rural regions. Furthermore, this work will examine the increase of cross-border childbirth and the cultural differences that can lead to shattered expectations. Finally, this work will examine the harsh immigration and social welfare policies exercise by the government of the People's Republic of China and of the Hong Kong SAR in the form of immigration controls to discourage cross-border marriages. This study will show that those who suffer the most from cross-border marriages and the regulations in processing between Hong Kong and mainland China are a group of individuals helpless and often living in a state of fright and psychological harm due to rules and regulations on processing individuals between Hong Kong and the mainland China.


Term Paper on Cross Border Marriage Assignment

The methodology of this study is one of a qualitative and interpretive nature and will be conducted through an extensive and thorough review of literature in this subject area. Literature reviewed in this study will be of an academic and profession peer-reviewed nature published in journals, books or articles.


I. Background of the Study

The work of Bernard Chan entitled: "Post-1997 Hong Kong: The Social and Environmental Impact" states that in Hong Kong: "In the 1980s and '90s, the barbed wire fences, lookout posts and other security facilities were seen as vital defenses against illegal immigration and in general for keeping Hong Kong secure and separate. Today, the border sometimes seems more of a hindrance than a help." (Chan, nd) Chan additionally states that there over the past twenty years families living below the poverty line have risen from ten percent to approximately twenty percent. It is noted by Chan that these family separations lead to "infidelity, family disputes, and so on." (nd)

II. Cross-Border Marriages and Rationale in Choice of Partner

The work of Edward Jow-Ching Tu entitled: "Cross-Border Marriage in Hong Kong and Taiwan" states: "When people choose marriage partners, they evaluate the 'worth' of the prospective partner. The 'worth' is determined by the attributes of the prospect." (2007) Tu states that in the research that two types of attributes are postulated: (1) intrinsic attributes; and (2) extrinsic attributes. (2007) Tu states that intrinsic attributes are "the internal properties of a person." (2007) External attributes are stated by Tu (2007) to be those attributes "...acquired from the society." Intrinsic attributes are stated by Tu (2007) to include: (1) physiological attributes; and (2) psychological attributes. Extrinsic attributes include: (1) socioeconomic status; and (2) social experience. (Tu, 2007) Tu states that intrinsic attributes are much harder to change than extrinsic attributes. Intrinsic and extrinsic attributes "tend to lead to high values in extrinsic attributes." (Tu, 2007) Tu examines how individuals "weigh these two types of attributes when they select marriage partners..." (2007)

III. Inter-Regime Marriages

Inter-regime marriages between individuals from Taiwan and mainland China is examined in the work of Tu who states that marriage, "in Chinese regarded as an opportunity to maximize the resources of the household of kin group through the negotiation of a suitable alliance. Empirical studies show that both older and younger generations continue today to view marriage as a means of social mobility." (Tu, 2007) Tu states that the process of selecting a mate "can be examined from a marriage-mobility point-of-view. Each side involved in the marriage bargaining tends to act rationally to maximize his/her position. In the case of China, due to its unique household registration system it is very difficult to get official approval to move from rural to urban areas. Therefore, spatial localities per se become part of social stratification." (Tu, 2007) Tu relates the important fact that Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China have been "separated since 1949, creating two kinds of societies that are populated by people with the same ethnic origins, and who share a common cultural heritage but with different political and economic institutions. They had not much social contact for awhile." (Tu, 2007) Things have changed according to Tu who states: "...inter-regime marriage took place for a while. In 1998, for instance, there were 12,167 marriages between residents of mainland China and Taiwan and 26,385 marriages between residents of mainland China and HK. By 2005, there were 29,788 residents of mainland China married HK residents and 13, 964 mainland China residents married Taiwanese in 2006." (Tu, 2007) Tu also relates that Hong Kong and Taiwan are far ahead of China in terms of economic development. Tu reports the study conducted by Jian (1995) in which inter-regime couples who were married were quizzed concerning the "special attributes he/she appreciates about his/her spouse; both mainland wives and HK and Taiwanese husbands cited 'family value', 'personality', and 'taste' as important. However, it is worth noting that HK and Taiwanese men give a higher score to 'appearance' and virtually no importance to 'ability to earn money'; whereas mainland wives give 'ability to earn money' a higher place and a relatively low score to 'appearance'..." (Tu, 2007) This is stated to uphold the postulation of the study reported by Tu (2007) that "personal financial status is an important extrinsic attribute and appearance is an important intrinsic attribute."

IV. Reasons Men in Hong Kong Choose Wives from Mainland China

Reasons provided by men from Hong Kong and Taiwan in choosing wives from mainland China is because "Chinese girls still have more traditional values" and they reported that they "cannot find compatible wives in HK and Taiwan..." (Tu, 2007) Tu further relates that wives from mainland China in inter-regime marriages "have higher education levels that HK and Taiwanese wives in both intra-HK and intra-Taiwan marriages. In other words, HK and Taiwanese men are better off if they want to marry women with a higher education." (2007) When occupational status of mainland China and intra-HK and intra-Taiwan marriages are compared "mainland wives of inter-regime marriages tend to have a lower occupational status; 60% of mainland wives are housewives or peasants, whereas 48% of HK and Taiwanese wives fall into this category." (Tu, 2007)

V. Cross-Border Marriages = Cross-Border Children

The work of Chen (2007) entitled: "The Rise of Cross-Border Marriages and Its Impact on Fertility in Taiwan" states: "Since 1984, Taiwan's TFR has been lower than the replacement level and continued to fall to 1.12. In spite of the emergence of very low fertility, non-marital cohabitation and childbearing are not accepted arrangements for most Taiwanese. This situation, together with delaying marriage and persistent mate-selection preference among women, tend to increase the likelihood of cross-border marriages between Taiwanese men and women mainly from Mainland China and Southeast Asia. By 2005, there were more than 365,000 marriage immigrants, emerging as the fifth subpopulation." (Chen, 2007) Chen states the intention to delineate shifts and changes in the formation of marriage as well as attitudes related to gender-specific roles and attitudes. Chen states that through utilization of the "2003 Survey of Foreign and Mainland Chinese Spouses' Living Condition a comparative analysis of reproductive outcomes between non-Taiwanese women is provided. The results demonstrate women from Southeast Asian countries have given more births than any other marriage immigrants, while the same data indicate women from Mainland China are more likely to be childless due to remarriage with older Taiwanese partners." (Chen, 2007)

VI. Legal Issues of Mainland Born Children with One Parent in Hong Kong

The work of Chlo Cattelain entitled: "Family vs. Society? Hong Kong's Battle over Right of Abode for Mainland-Born Children" states that even while Hong Kong's status is one of a colonial nature it still has "...always remained part of China in a certain sense. One of the clearest manifestations of this is the fact that many people, particularly men, in the territory have married mainlanders." This division is one that has resulted in effects that are fundamental to family structure as well as a wait that goes on for years for spouses and other family to join one another. Children are required… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Cross Border Marriage" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Cross Border Marriage.  (2008, March 28).  Retrieved April 12, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Cross Border Marriage."  28 March 2008.  Web.  12 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Cross Border Marriage."  March 28, 2008.  Accessed April 12, 2021.