Chinese embassy denies reports of brides for sale

The Chinese embassy in Cairo this week denied reports in the Egyptian media about the existence of "agencies" devoted to bringing Chinese women into the country for marriage to Egyptians at US$270 per bride.

According to reports, such agencies claim to help overcome the problems faced by young Egyptian men who are unable to tie the knot due to the high costs associated with marriage, including steep dowries and rising real estate prices.

Embassy officials said they had already been contacted by a number of young Egyptian men who had inquired about the "procedures by which to buy a Chinese bride."

The officials went on to point out that Egyptian law stipulated that foreign nationals wishing to marry Egyptian citizens must first submit a certificate, issued by their respective embassy, indicating their marital status and age. A second certificate is also required stating that their respective country of origin does not object to the marriage.

According to the embassy’s records, 62 Egyptian citizens have married Chinese nationals since 2004.

Embassy officials also stressed that the Chinese government "supports freedom of choice" and "does not oppose the marriage of its citizens to foreign nationals.” They added that the "sale" of would-be brides was prohibited under Chinese law.

Chinese diplomats noted, however, that "there are now more males in China than females, making it difficult for men to find wives."

Egyptian authorities estimate that there are currently between 60,000 and 80,000 Chinese nationals working in Egypt.

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