Divorce En Vogue in China

And despite the older generation's general disapproval of divorce, it is becoming more accepted. Shao Ming said he's never felt a negative stigma in the 15 years since his divorce.

"Society is so open now. Nobody cares, especially in the cities," he said.

Sex, Cohabitation Also Increase

Divorce is not the only Western trend that is spreading in China. Premarital sex and living together before marriage are more accepted as the younger generation ignores pressure from their seniors and the government.

"If you ask someone over 40 about premarital sex, they say it's absolutely immoral," Fucius said. "If you ask someone under 30, they think it's OK. If you ask an 18-year-old, they say, 'I want more.'"

Zhang Peng, a single 24-year-old personal trainer in Beijing, agrees. He said 90 percent of his friends have sex before marriage. If his parents knew this, they would be very unhappy.

"Sex before marriage is not necessarily a good thing, but it is natural," he said.

For Zhang, marriage is not about upward mobility, and most of his friends agree.

"We are looking for feelings beyond language," he said. And what about divorce? "The option is a good thing. To leave someone you don't love quickly is better than staying together painfully."

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