A man in China who met a Vietnamese bride through a matchmaking service said he was was shocked when he found her trying to run away, two months pregnant, after he’d treated her ‘like a princess’.
Last July, the 35-year-old man surnamed Zheng signed up for a service through the Internet to help him look for a Vietnamese wife. Zheng paid 50,000 yuan to a Shanghai matchmaker and 6,000 yuan to the bride’s family before getting married to her in Vietnam. After spending almost 100,000 yuan, he came back to China with his new Vietnamese wife.
Zheng works as a computer typesetter in a printing house and lives in a rental apartment near his job.
At first Zheng was very satisfied with his wife. “She was really active when she first came. She often said we should save more money so she can send it back to her home in Vietnam” Zheng said.
Zheng thinks he treated her well. “I treat her like a princess, I’ve bought a lot of clothes for her since the weather has gotten cold. I feel like a servant sometimes. Besides going to work, I also need to buy all the food and do the cooking,” he said.
Zheng said he never thought his wife would leave him. “I often give her money, around 6,000 yuan total. She keeps her own passport and ID card and I really trusted her,” he said.
When his wife became pregnant, Zheng was really excited. After her two months of pregnancy, he had already picked out a name.
Last year on September 13, Zheng found out that his wife was missing. “I was very worried. I found her at Hangzhou Railway Station. I asked where she was going and she said to Nanning, Guangxi, to return to Vietnam.” Zheng took her back to their home and asked her why she wanted to leave, but she didn’t respond.
Later Zheng’s wife told him that where she really wanted to marry was in South Korea or Taiwan, so that she could send her parents more money.
Mr Zheng forgave her, sent 5,000 yuan to her Vietnamese parents, and promised to send 10,000 yuan more during the upcoming festival.
“If my wife really wants to leave, I can’t really stop her, but we could at least take care of divorce formalities first or wait until the child is born,” Zheng said. “I hope she can think of me as well, I spent so much money on her, and now I really have nothing.”
Oversea brides have been increasingly connected to “underground agents” and are considered risky marriages. The recent domestic media have reported many “runaway” bride incidents.
According to the Global Times, more and more men have turned to finding oversea wives through matchmaking services as “the cost of marrying a Chinese woman continues to grow and bachelors lament their dwindling chances to find a mate”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security both issued warnings about the risks of finding Vietnamese wives through matchmakers, which is the most common method for Chinese men to find a Vietnamese bride.
The risks go both ways. Buyers may end up swindled out of money or with an unwilling wife, and the women involved in these schemes risk being swallowed by people-smuggling and prostitution rackets.
By Isabel Quan
[Image Credit: Hammonton Photography]