Can Hongkongers who move to mainland China for marriage, adapt to life across border?

Hongkongers who marry partners in mainland China and settle across the border find it harder to adapt to a new life and a different political system, compared with mainlanders who move to the city for their spouses, a recent survey has found.

On Tuesday the Hong Kong Ideas Centre, a think tank founded in 2008 and chaired by pro-establishment businessman Fung Siu-por, presented the poll findings on 800 individuals in cross-border marriages.

The survey – the second of its kind done by the centre – was conducted in June and July. The sample pool involved 804 people comprising 200 Hongkongers married and living on the mainland, and 200 mainlanders married and living in Hong Kong.

In general, the survey found that spouses who settled in Hong Kong have adapted well to a life after marriage. Aspects polled included new working styles, languages, living habits and interpersonal relationships.

However, on average, Hongkongers who married mainlanders and moved out of the city saw less advancement when adapting to a new life across the border.

The survey employs an index to quantify the level of adaptability in individuals before and after marriage. It found that mainlanders are 20 per cent more adaptive after marriage, while the figure is 17 per cent for Hongkongers.

Both groups admitted that they found it difficult to embrace the political systems in their new environments.

For example, the survey cited a Hong Kong woman, 34, currently married and living in Shenzhen, who said she could not agree with views by her husband over political issues such as the pro-democracy Occupy movement in 2014.

Hong Kong should welcome cross-border marriages, and make it easier for more to wed

While she sympathised with protesting students, her husband opposed the campaign and felt that mainland China’s control over Hong Kong was a given.

Another woman of the same age from Shenzhen, however, who moved over to be with her husband in Hong Kong, set a “talking ban” on her…

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