Increasingly and mostly as an outcome of China’s One-Child policy, more and more Chinese are looking for a bride, and Beijing’s all-weather friend–Pakistan has a role to play. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC has increased engagement in all spheres of society including people-to-people spurring many marriages, many times a pure outcome of economics.

It has emerged that agents in China and Pakistan have used the garb of CPEC to literally kidnap girls from lower socio-economic backgrounds, especially from minority communities such as Christians, and marry them off to Chinese men.

Many of these marriages have taken place in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin, and Faisalabad. For a prospect of a better life in China, many of the unsuspecting women take the bait, and much to their shock life hasn’t been easy in the foreign land. 

One of the biggest fall out of these marriages has been, many times women who have been to China are unable to accept the Chinese way of life. A number of reports and complaints have been received from the families of these women and the women themselves about mistreatment by their husbands and in-laws.

An obvious reason for the existence of the current situation is a continuing gap in demographics in China, combined with abject poverty in many places in Pakistan. Most of the Pakistani brides are from minority communities, and many times the Chinese side has been giving inflated information about their socio-economic status which turns out to be false.

It has been decades since China adopted One Child Policy, with a preference for a male child leading to a skewed gender ratio that continues even today. The number of marriageable Chinese men outnumber women in the country by more than 30 million, as per the most recent estimates of Dec 2020. While logically increased Pakistan-China partnership has played a role in societal engagement, many times at the detriment of the lower strata of society.

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