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China: Around The Nation

Runaway Laotian bride flees Chinese groom days after 110,000 yuan paid for arranged marriage

Parents of groom, 28, call in police after young wife’s disappearance when she leaves family gathering early only a few days after wedding

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 6:51pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 6:51pm

A Chinese man’s new young bride from Laos ran off only a few days after their arranged marriage.

The 28-year old man, surnamed Duan, from Xianyang, Shaanxi province, had borrowed 110,000 yuan (HK$124,000) to pay for the marriage with the woman from the nation across China’s southern border, the Chinese Business View newspaper reported.

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Li, who had first met her husband only in December, was reported to have fled on January 29 – the second day of the Lunar New Year holiday, “a few days” after their wedding.

She had left a family gathering early, the report said.

“She behaved quite well after they got married,” Duan’s father told the newspaper.

“She accompanied our son to meet our relatives and she got red envelopes from them, and now our daughter-in-law is gone – just like that.”

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Duan , like many Chinese men, had found it difficult to find a mainland wife because the country has a much higher number of men than women.

However, he was likely to have faced greater difficulties than many men because his left hand was disabled and both his parents also suffered from physical disabilities.

His family had agreed to pay for a young Laotian bride for him after seeing the sons of their neighbours marrying women from the same country.

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Duan’s family had paid Li’s family 60,000 yuan when they met her for the first time last December, and another 30,000 yuan when she arrived at their home in January.

A further 20,000 yuan was then paid to her once the travel visa and marriage documents had been finalised.

The matchmaker of the marriage had reported Li’s disappearance to police, who were now investigating, the report said.

“I believe she defrauded me,” Duan said.

The National Bureau of Statistics reported on January 26 that there were currently 33 million more men than women among of the nation’s 1.38 billion population.

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This imbalance is believed to have been the result of the decades-long one child policy, which was formally halted only on January 1, 2016.

This policy is widely suspected of having resulted in selective abortions across the country, where traditional families preferred to have sons rather than daughters.