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Broken marriages rise in China over last decade, report Cui Jia, He Na and Wu Wencong in Beijing.
|The divorce of Faye Wong and Li Yapeng has prompted many people to take a searching look at their own marriages. (Provided to China Daily)|
'Sometimes, I believe everything comes with an expiration date and no relationship can be immortal' is a lyric from a love song by Faye Wong, the Chinese pop diva, who announced the end of her second marriage on Friday.
Wong, 44, and former actor turned business mogul Li Yapeng, 41, who had been married for eight years, signed a divorce agreement on Friday in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, where Li was born. Li has been awarded custody of the couple's 6-year-old daughter.
The high-profile divorce of this "perfect" celebrity couple has prompted many people to take a searching look at their own marriages.
China's divorce rate has risen at an annual rate of around 8 percent in the past 10 years, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
In 2012, more than 3.1 million couples divorced and experts are concerned that a high divorce rate may result in a host of social problems.
"I am not joking that our society will disintegrate if the family dissolves. Problems within the family are the fundamental cause of many social problems. Divorce not only affects the lives, work and families of the people concerned, it also affects their children's upbringing," Shu Xin, head of the China Marriage and Family Counseling Center, said on Sunday.
He said the number of crimes committed by children from single-parent families is far higher than those by children from traditional two-parent households. Moreover, the rising incidence of extramarital affairs and domestic violence also poses a growing threat to social stability and is ramping up the pressure on the government to safeguard it.
"Although no nationwide data is available about cases where divorce has resulted in criminal activity, our research in recent years in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Security and the People's Public Security University indicates that a high divorce rate results in a rise in crimes such as murder and serious physical injury," said Wu Changzhen, a professor who specializes in civil, marital and family law at China University of Political Science and Law, on Sunday.
"Furthermore, more than 50 percent of convicted killers who are sentenced to death claim that an unhappy marriage was the motive for the murder," she said.
It seems that behind Wong and Li's perfect smiles and public composure, they faced the same problems as any other couple. Following the divorce announcement, Li commented on his micro blog that Wong is set to be a legend, while he just wants a family. However, the reasons for their parting are, as yet, unclear.