According to China Daily and Times of India, the divorce rate in China as of 2009 is on the rise and climbing furiously. The 2010 divorce trends in China show no signs of abating as compared to 2009. The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs in China apparently declared that nearly 800,000 people filed for divorce in the first half of 2010. What the hay is going on? Could it be as simple as a change in the divorce laws?

Instead of dealing with complicated court procedures, couples can now seek divorces at civil affairs offices. Simplified marriage registration procedures have also aroused people’s sense of “merry meet, merry part,” according to Xu.
There are many reasons cited including the growth of a more culturally and socially diverse population, increased mobility, technology, increased adultery and rising infertility rates, and good old materialism.

Times of India:

There was ten per cent raise in the country’s divorce rate across the country with Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Chongqing municipality topping the list, official ‘China Daily’ reported on Monday.

The report did not say whether the divorce rate was high among the Muslim Uyghurs or Chinese Hans in Xinjiang, which witnessed tensions between the two communities last years.
Shanghai ranked sixth and Beijing eighth in divorce cases. A report by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in June this year revealed that there was an annual rise of 7.6 per cent in the number of divorces from 2005 to 2009, with 2.47 million couples divorcing in 2009.
But some argue that it is the change in divorce laws that is the culprit. Apparently, it’s become incrementally easier to get a divorce in China.

What can I say? It’s not all a losing proposition. Indeed, some argue that in spite of the rising divorce rates, that China still has a very low divorce rate when compared to the West.

There may indeed be a whole different way to look at things. Instead of thinking that Chinese society is becoming degraded by increasing materialism that is leading to rising divorce rates, some experts say that the rising rates of divorce is actually a sign of “social advancement.”
Charlie Rose’s interview with Yang Ian, the Chinese head of Sun Media Group may be instructive. Ms. Ian, just tonight, was discussing China with Charlie and she was talking about how 10 million new cars were sold in China last year and how there are over 300 cities in China with over one million people; and she was discussing the cultural changes and reinvention of values, rising materialism and basically, this renaissance that is taking place in terms of art, architecture, and literature. She sounds very excited by all the changes going on. She did not specifically discuss the divorce rate.
But it is clear, from what she said, that she doesnt’ necessarily thing that the changes are bad. Rather, she thinks they are good and that China’s future is good. Presumably, that is what folks mean by “social advancement” and the trade off, ostensibly, is rising divorce rates. Which, I guess, when you factor everything all together, is not such a high price to pay for progress, is it?