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These days, families have reasserted their control but individuals getting married probably have more say in marriage matters than they ever had before.According to a Chinese legend, couples destined to marry have invisible red strings, connecting them, tied around their ankles when they are young children.[Source: Library of Congress] “In the past, marriage was seen as the concern of families as well as of the two parties to the match.Families united by marriage were expected to be of equivalent status, or the groom's family to be of somewhat higher status.In the cities today the average age is approaching 30.In a survey in 2006 by a dating web site, 25 percent of Chinese brides said they regretted getting married, saying they would have preferred a different husband or staying single.
In most cases each of the young people, and their parents, has an effective veto over any proposed match.
The event is sanctioned by the community and relatives and often oriented as much to show respect for parents as sanction the union between a man and woman.
The Marriage Law of 1950 guarantees everyone the freedom to choose his or her marriage partner.
The most desirable husbands have been administrative cadres, party members, and employees of large state enterprises.
Conversely, men from poor villages have had difficulty finding wives.