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Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164

 China's "me" generation

By Chen AizhuTue Nov 27, 7:27 PM ET

Ten months after they tied the knot, Li Lei and Wang Yang, both 20-something Chinese professionals, decided it was time to break up so they could spend more time with their lovers.

They signed on the dotted line on their divorce paper less than 20 minutes after answering "no" to a few key questions -- "Do you have kids?" and "Any disputes on property?"

China's phenomenal economic growth has created a generation of "emperors" and "empresses," the now-adult children of China's one-child policy, who often put their needs before anything and anyone else.

Experts say many of this generation are unable to sustain relationships, a result of being spoilt only children, doted on by parents and grandparents who catered to their every whim.

"They are weak in horizontal bonding, communicating with the same generation," said Professor Fucius Yunlan, a U.S.-trained psychiatrist who runs counseling sessions in Beijing.

"They tend to apply a vertical approach to horizontal relationships."

With an enlarged sense of entitlement, some of these couples tend to part quickly. Counselors say some marriages fall apart after a week or a few months.

China launched the controversial one-child policy in the early 1980s to curb its population, now over 1.3 billion.

The restrictions, which vary from city to countryside, caused a variety of social problems such as a fast-ageing society and a breakdown of family values which used to be based on the traditional Confucian ideal of a large and close family.


The problem of grown only children having difficulties sustaining relationships is particularly pronounced among the affluent middle-and upper-classes who have accumulated enormous wealth from China's economic success.

Divorce figures in some cities show about one-third of all divorce cases involve children of the affluent "me" generation.

Brought up in China's economic and social turmoil of the 1950s and 1960s, many parents buried themselves in work to build a better life as the country underwent dizzying economic growth over the past two decades just as their kids reached their teens.

"They ignored the emotional education of their children," explained Prof. Fucius.

But in many cases, these parents showered their children with everything that money could buy as well as the emotional weight of high expectations for their only children.

Lu Qingyi, an economist and a day trader at the booming Chinese stock market, has set money aside to finance a car and a business for his 21-year-old son who is now thinking of aborting a finance degree in London to open a coffee shop in Beijing.

"Actually I've prepared a contingent fund for him in case he fails in the first business," Lu added. "But of course I keep it hush-hush."


Marriages among China's elite often seem to be more about amassing wealth than nurturing relationships, observers suggest. When a partner with better prospects comes along, some couples such as Li Lei and Wang Yang think nothing of breaking up.

It's a lifestyle that contrasts sharply to that of their parents who viewed marriage as a duty and divorce a shame.

"You will never ever find any trace in this generation of how we felt in the old days, guys didn't even dare touch a girl's fingers before marriage," said Gary Xu, 55, a Red Guard in Mao Zedong's chaotic Cultural Revolution who spent his teen years herding buffalo in the remote southwest.

In Xu's time, when youths studied Marxism and dreamed of becoming model workers, pre-marital sex could cost one a treasured job at a state-run factory or expulsion from a prestigious university.

Marriage was about a couple working together to earn a television set, a bicycle, or a fridge.

"Kids today start their relationship right from the bed," said Xu. "It's a completely new generation."

These days, cohabitation is commonplace and extra-marital sex is gaining acceptance. A new car, preferably a foreign brand, and a two-bedroom apartment, or at least a down payment on an apartment, is essential in a new marriage among the well-to-do.

Parents also feed the idea of marrying into "the right family" with a sound financial and political standing.

"If you marry into a rich and powerful family, you don't need to plan anything as everything will be set for you smoothly and perfectly," said a secretary, who asked not to be named.

"It will be a comfortable life. Why should we endure a hard life?"

The tens of millions of poor people in China's impoverished rural areas are too preoccupied with trying to eke out a living on incomes as low as $80 per year to mimic the mores of the affluent.

But in the big cities, experts are seeing a sharp shift in social values among 20-somethings from the wealthy elite and fast-expanding middle class.

"This generation faces a completely different set of reality versus their parents," explained Professor Fucius. "They are very much self-oriented, not others-oriented or social-oriented."

"Their parents listen to what the superiors, tradition and other people have to say. They listen to themselves."

(Editing by Nick Macfie and Megan Goldin)


Josh Parsley

 2007/11/28 10:37Profile

Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924

 Re: China's "me" generation...who would have thought...

bro PP Greetings in Jesus' Name by Whose Blood we are Saved.AMEN.

i would have never thought this generation of Chinese would turn out like this...however seeing as they are following our economic practices of last century, why not follow the social ones also... :-o

God help us.AMEN.

Grace and Peace are ours in Jesus.AMEN.

Farai Bamu

 2007/12/1 21:02Profile

Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


IRONMAN wrote:
i would have never thought this generation of Chinese would turn out like this...

Brother, this is not the most tragic thing, the most tragic thing is [url=]this[/url].

Could you feel this pressure?

 2007/12/2 10:32Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


Actually this news can serve to help keep us more on track in our soteriology eschatology. The west's problems aren't caused by being born into western culture, but by being born into Adam's nature. Apparently Chinese people share the same parents as Americans. Being born in America, or the third world, or an emmerging asian economy doesn't change one's basic family lineage. Our race is the same.


Mike Compton

 2007/12/2 14:57Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1123
Germany NRW

 Re: China's "me" generation

We had a ministry amoung Chinese Students in the UK a couple of years ago. Many students come from very affluent families, so called "Baofahu". Their families made their fortune either in business or as government officials. We noticed that a couple of years ago they were easy to reach and would gratefully accept invitations and listen to the gospel. Now as China evolved more as a economic superpower in its own right it is now increasingly difficult to reach them.

At least they no longer look up to western civilization or desire to leave their country when the opportunity is given. Most of them rather go back to China after their studies.


 2007/12/2 15:04Profile

Joined: 2007/12/2
Posts: 6


i would have never thought this generation of Chinese would turn out like this...

This is nothing new really, in my view, it was this same "me generation" that brought China under Mao Tze Tung, and thereby, to the current state.

It's just one of those things,a SELF culture, is in fact, in the end, a self-destructive culture, to it's people, it's government, it's families.

There's one very ancient saying in China, it goes something like this, " let's just sweep off the snow at our own doorsteps, and clear off the mist on our own roofs ", meaning, never mind about any others' problems.

In view of my childhood as somewhat a victim of this culture, I had thought to myself in the past, perhaps the Gospel reached China a bit too late, yeah, even to thinking that GOD seemed to favor other light of human history.Only because I knew that only the Cross of Christ would be able to correct this "me" culture and saves it's people.

No, I wouldn't and had better not judge GOD, concerning HIS sovereign will upon this nation.
I'm only thankful that HE delivered me out of that land.

God be praised!!
mml (mamaluk) Greetings to some of you brothers and sisters out there.

 2007/12/2 19:34Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


mml (mamaluk) Greetings to some of you brothers and sisters out there.

Hello dear sister! Funny you should appear...I was just thinknig about you recently, wondering what happened to you. Praise God!

It's good to see you here again.

Brother Paul

Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/2 20:01Profile

Joined: 2007/11/6
Posts: 191


GOd is never late He is always in right timing; God is at work right now in the inner china so as the enemy stopping any thing of God from breaking through speaking from the insight i knew in a small scale of what is happening in china and the people of Jesus Christ to war against not only the physical realm and far more to war in spiritual realm, ... that is one the strong hold in china is the "me" spirit, even at work that is evident the false pride they have a strive to be the best and the elite in human race. If this is reveal to us as a warrior in prayer in Christ bring it to prayer as i see it here at this point a watchmen for christ must raise up take up the annointing given, bind up the enemys plan ... i am speaking that strongly for myself ... i am sleeping while God is calling, Oh God! ...


 2007/12/2 20:18Profile

Joined: 2007/12/2
Posts: 6



amen, sister, GOD is never,ever late, HIS thoughts and ways are indeed not ours, HIS mercy and grace is without boundary, thank you for your sincere words, and exhortations

praise HIM,

 2007/12/2 20:30Profile

Joined: 2007/12/2
Posts: 6


wondering what happened to you. Praise God!

life..happened :)

Thanks for the kind words, good to be back !

Yes, praise GOD indeed1

Sis mml

 2007/12/2 20:46Profile

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