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Vietnamese brides enjoy life in rural China
( Xinhua )
Updated: 2013-09-03

Riding an electric motorbike with her one-year-old son, Tuan Thi Hong Thai doesn't look much different from an ordinary rural woman in China.

The 26-year-old Vietnamese woman followed her husband back to his hometown, Linqi Township in central China's Henan Province, in November 2011.

Having lived in the rural township for almost two years, she now speaks the local dialect fluently and always greets her neighbors with a bright smile.

Tuan told Xinhua that she met her husband, Zhang Weijiang, in 2010 in the Vietnamese city of Ninh Binh, where Zhang worked as a construction worker.

"A mutual friend of ours introduced me to him. He has many good qualities and always takes good care of me," Tuan said.

After dating for a while, Tuan took Zhang to meet her family. However, their relationship faced strong opposition from her parents.

Her mother didn't want her to marry a Chinese man because of the language and cultural differences, and she would have to live far away from home.

However, Tuan was determined to spend the rest of her life with Zhang and finally won the support of her family.

After a simple wedding in Vietnam, the couple came back to Linqi, and soon after their son was born.

To support the family, her husband left home in May to work on a year-long construction project in Indonesia.

Tuan said she misses him a lot, but has never regretted following him to China.

According to the township government, 23 Vietnamese women have married local farmers since 2008.

Like Tuan, they all met their husbands in their home country before deciding to settle down in China.

Farmers in Linqi are known for their excellent construction skills, so they often go to work in Southeast Asian countries during slow farming seasons, as construction work typically pays better than farming.

Liu Weihua, 35, got married last year to Ho Thi Huan. He said most farmers just go to Vietnam hoping to make more money, and don't expect to find a wife.

"We went there for work, not for women," Liu said. "But things just happened naturally."

Liu went through a bitter divorce just before going to Vietnam and didn't think he was ready to start another relationship, but Ho changed his mind.

He explained that Vietnamese women are usually understanding wives and loving mothers, which makes them the ideal type of women for Chinese men.

The unusual number of Vietnamese wives in this small township has raised the eyebrows of outsiders.

Some believe the women have married the men for money, while others believe the women were trafficked to China.

But Liu dismissed their suspicions as groundless, adding that the marriage didn't cost him any extra money other than the 4,800 U.S. dollars he spent on the wedding.

"When we got married, her family didn't ask me for any money," he said. "Her family lives a pretty decent life in Vietnam, and she also had a pretty good job there."

Liu Jianhua, who brought his Vietnamese wife to China in July last year, said most Vietnamese women are not materialistic.

"I told my wife honestly when we were about to go back to China that I only had an old house, as well as a younger brother to support," he said. "She said it would all be fine as long as I treat her well."

The Vietnamese wives enjoy a very good reputation in Linqi. They have been getting along with local housewives, and are known by locals for being polite, hardworking and loyal.

In their spare time, the women love to get together to share news from their hometowns and trade practical advice on raising children.

There's only one problem that keeps bothering them: although their children are registered as Chinese nationals, the women still have to apply for a visa every three months, since they cannot get permanent residence permits.

According to Chinese immigration law, if a foreign woman wants to apply for a permanent residence permit after marrying a Chinese man, she has to have been married and have lived in China for at least five years.

Tuan said she is looking forward to getting the permit, as she has already made China her second home.

"It takes time to adjust, but as long as I know that my husband loves me and cares about me, I don't feel lonely," she said.

(Souce: xinhuanet.com)

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