China’s Communist Youth League sets up dating service
Unit set up in Zhejiang province as group says young people are finding it increasingly difficult to find a partner amid the pressures of work and modern life
A branch of the Communist Youth League in eastern China has established a unit to help young people find romance, state media reported.
The service has been set up in the Zhejiang province branch of the national organisation, which has formerly been a starting ground for many government cadres and even top national leaders.
The league was criticised, however, by the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency last year for its self-serving attitude, with some connected to the group deemed to think of themselves as “political aristocrats”. The barbs prompted a massive overhaul of the organisation.
The league’s Zhejiang branch held a huge dating party on Sunday in Hangzhou, with about 5,000 people attending, the China News Service reported.
The event was also organised by a dating website and young people attending included single people working in the information technology, e-commerce and finance sectors.
Among the events at the party was a speed dating event where people taking part had eight minutes to chat to a date before moving on to the next.
More than 500 people succeeded in finding a potential date at the party, the report said.
One woman attending was quoted as saying that she felt the event was more trustworthy as it was organised by the youth league.
The new unit was established to meet the changing needs of young people, an official at the league in Zhejiang told the South China Morning Post.
“The circle of friends of youngsters has narrowed due to the heavy work pressure in modern society,” the official said, who did not give her full name. “Some young people and their parents also asked whether we can serve as a bridge,” she said.
China’s latest census in 2010 revealed that 2.47 per cent of women aged 30 or over are not married, up from 0.92 per cent in 2000, the China News Service reported.
Former leaders with ties to the league include ex-president Hu Jintao and a faction within the party based around the organisation is known as the “tuanpai”.
One of the more notorious former cadres linked to the group was Ling Jihua, an ex-presidential adviser now serving a life sentence for corruption.
The Chinese authorities announced reforms of the league last August, overhauling its leadership, restructuring its personnel system and improving its work at the grass-roots level, focused on ideological education among young people.