Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : Cheryl Teh, translated by Wang Huicong Page No. : NA

In a March 10 article on the website of the Insider, titled “More than 92 million Chinese youths live alone, unmarried, with no intention of changing the situation”, but now the State is stepping in the lives of such netizens claiming to be “single for life”. Known as “darling babies, she is one of the 92 million young people living alone in China. According to official statistics released last week, China is expected to have about 15 million more single young people living alone this year than in 2018. In China, young people who live alone, either voluntarily or reluctantly, are known as “empty nesters”. This phenomenon has become one of the hot topics of discussion on Chinese social media.

Hu Wei, a member of China’s National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), submitted a proposal during this year’s Two Sessions (NPC and CPPCC currently underway in Beijing), suggesting that government departments should provide physical and mental health services for “empty nest” youth and  pay more attention to their marriage problems. There are concerns that this phenomenon may affect China’s birth rate.

Recently, a questionnaire survey on “Why do ’empty nesters’ live alone” showed that about 41 percent of respondents believe that “empty nesters” live alone because they are bored with others and the world. Thirty-eight percent believe they are living alone because they want to avoid family responsibilities, 13% believe they are living alone passively because of the pressure of life, and about 7% believe they are living alone because they cannot get “true love” and are leading a passive life.

Young people have different views on the phenomenon of “empty nest” youth. “With all the dating apps out there, there’s no reason to be single, unless you’re short, ugly or poor. Consider your family and the shame it brings them to have a son like you who can’t find them a daughter-in-law,” said a 28-year-old Beijing-based netizen. But a 33-year-old Nanjinger said, “If I’m happy on my own, why do I need to bear the burden of being a husband and father? I don’t feel ashamed of that.”

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