In the bustling city of Kunming, located in the heart of China’s Yunnan province, Bhavivarn Noraphallop, the Royal Thai Consul General, addresses an increasing concern involving Thai women marrying Chinese men via matchmaking agencies. Due to its strategic location bordering Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and close proximity to Thailand, Yunnan has seen its fair share of complex border-related predicaments, such as illegal immigration, overstays, and crime. However, one issue that has particularly drawn Bhavivarn’s attention is the escalating number of failed marriages between Thai women and local Chinese men.
During a workshop under the theme “China in the New Era: What the Thai Media Should Know,” hosted by the Embassy of China to Thailand in cooperation with the Thai Journalist Association, Bhavivarn asserts the necessity for Thai women to investigate their prospective spouse’s history meticulously before committing to matrimony. This piece of advice was offered amid the surging number of heartbreaking reports concerning the marital lives of Thai women in China, often involving deception and exploitation carried out by matchmaking agencies.
Observations reveal that most of these women are coming from the Northeast of Thailand, seeking opportunities to leverage their charm for enhancing financial stability – a dream far too often resulting in a distressing reality-check. A glaring lack of due diligence concerning the fiancé’s family and background and a significant language barrier are among the main reasons cited as stumbling blocks.
The cause of this unbalanced dynamic can arguably be traced back to the short-lived One Child policy in China, combined with the long-standing cultural preference towards male heirs. These factors, in turn, have led to an oversaturated male population and fuelled the demand for foreign brides. Consequently, matchmaking agencies that specialize in pairing Thai women and Chinese men have experienced exponential growth.
Bhavivarn highlights her worries about the increasing number of disillusioned Thai brides now residing in China, unsatisfied, mistreated, and often stuck working agonizing hours on their in-laws’ farmlands. Some even seek assistance from the consulate to facilitate their return journey back to Thailand, a process far from straightforward and requiring spousal consent, particularly when a child is involved.
The Thai Consul General, therefore, urges women to make informed decisions, to hold realistic expectations of life in China, and to acknowledge that in some cases, their living conditions could deteriorate considerably post-marriage. Bhavivarn also underscores the importance for Thai women marrying foreigners to never forfeit their travel documents and to obtain the appropriate visa to ensure that their rights are safeguarded under Chinese law. Besides, Bhavivarn emphasizes the criticality of registering their marriage with the nearest Royal Thai Embassy to ensure swift assistance in the case of an emergency.