Chinese Women in Love and Marriage - Interviews

 Chinese Women in Love and Marriage

Let's bridge the gulf of misunderstandings & intolerance, cultivate cultural awareness & diversity

 through intercultural love and marriage, and lead to a better world in which to live!

Interviews

 

TV "Love Knows No Bounds" Part 1 - 2012

TV "Love Knows No Bounds" Part 2 - 2012

Interviewed by New Zealand Herald - 2007

Interviewed by "City Weekend" - 2006

 

Don't let the cultural difference hold you back

 

Born in Beijing, once divorced and once widowed and with an 8-year-old daughter from the first marriage, Dawn Xiao Yan Li found her happiness in her third marriage after marrying Richard Kaser, an British/Kiwi engineer. Believing that love is not constrained by national borders through her own experience, Dawn  now runs the international dating website company "Asian Promise"  from her Auckland home  which helps her fellow women, most of  whom are divorced ladies  with a child who have difficulties to find love and marry again in China because of Chinese tradition, to find true love and quality marriage in the western countries.
 
The Internet has made Dawn's dream come true. With technical support from her husband, the  "Asian Promise" website (www.asianpromise.com) has helped hundreds of people throughout the world  find love and marriage over the past 6 years.
 
Knowing it is not good enough just to provide a way for people to meet, particularly for a cross-cultural relationship (CCR), Dawn wrote two Chinese language books and one English language book.The English book was published in 2006 providing advice and knowledge for Westerners who are interested in Chinese women or who are already in a CCR .
 
In her English book "Chinese Women in Love and Marriage – a Guide to Happiness in Cross-Cultural Relationships ", Dawn demonstrates the most effective ways to develop a healthy and happy cross-cultural relationship with stories based on her work and life experience.    
 
"The biggest challenge in a CCR is not the difference in culture, but the ability to deal with the difference. " Dawn says when being interviewed by Herald on Sunday.
 
"You have to give up something you have been used to and be willing to make changes yourself as well as your partner."
 
Dawn's husband Richard Kaser agrees with his wife 's view. He adds: "Knowing the cultural differences between you and your partner is important and you should be ready to make a compromise and to develop a multi-cultural relationship culture. Otherwise, you'd  be better off  marrying people from your own culture. In fact, the attitude required is not that different to that needed to address the issue of difference between women and man."     
 
Dawn gives an example by telling a true story. Not long after a Chinese lady married an American through Dawn's help, conflicts appeared. The Chinese lady wished to save money as much as possible while the husband liked to spend money with credit cards without worring about the interest charges. One day, the Chinese lady began to complain when her husband was enjoying a football match on TV. Seeing no response from her man, she grabbed the bottle of beer out of her husband 's hand. Inevitably, a fight erupted between the couple.
 
Another example shows that a Chinese lady could not tolerate the untidiness of her husband 's workshop and cleaned it thoroughly when he was away. Unsurprisingly, her efforts did not win appreciation from her husband but just the opposite instead.
 
The different political influence between the West and China saw one loving couple separated because of their different attitudes towards the Iraq war.
 
In terms of attitudes to education, which is a big challenge in CCR, it is a Chinese tradition that children' s academic study is above anything else. But in New Zealand, children's happiness is more important than education and career. Dawn acknowledges that she and Richard "have adjusted to each other 's culture  well except when it comes to the education of our children.  "We are still working on it." 
 
So "do not judge your partner based on your own background experience and knowledge. You just have to be a bit more patient and open-minded and make a real effort to understand and compromise with each other." Richard summaries. 
 
"And don't let the cultural difference hold you back. Actually, it does not affect a couple's relationship as much as the gender difference. The most important point is that your relationship is founded on true love and with love, many differences and difficulties can be overcome ." Dawn adds.  
 
Notes: Dawn's book "Chinese Women in Love and Marriage - A Guide to Happiness in Cross-Cutural Relationships" is available in downloadable e-book format, or in hard copy from Amazon.com.
 
Interviewed by Portia

 

 

Chinese Women in Love and Marriage

 

Interviewed by "City Weekend",the largest privately owned English language magazine in China

 

1. Could you tell us a little bit about your history in relationships and how it influenced your writing of this book?
 
It is a long story. I have my personal story on the Asian Promise website, but it is in Chinese. I wouldn’t mind to tell you it in detail for your another article one day. Herewith is an only brief summary:
 
My first husband was Chinese. He came to New Zealand from Beijing China on a student visa in 1989 and I joined him in 1991 after two years separation (we couldn’t came to NZ together because of visa and money issues). I left him two year after I came to NZ. Our different attitudes toward the new challenge in a new country were the main reason for our divorce. I had a very hard time during the divorce (under huge pressure from Chinese tradition).
 
I met my second husband in 1992. He was a New Zealander and also my NZ business partner. We didn’t get married until 1997 just before we moved to Hong Kong for life adventure. We moved to HK in Feb. 1997 and he became sick in May, and died from cancer in Aug. - 5 months after we arrived in HK. It was a hard time for me as it happened all so suddenly. I didn’t have close friends or family members in HK. However my daughter Simone (she was 8 years old then) and I received a strong support from people around - my Irish boss, local HK colleagues, my American Chinese roommate and my company (a international medical publisher). It was from this support I first felt deeply that “LOVE” was without borders.
 
In my 2nd marriage, my husband and I had both spent lots of effort to make our relationship work because of the differences between us. From it, I learnt that with love, everything is possible as long as we have similar expectations and values. From it, I also learnt more and more Western culture. The more I understood the Western culture, the more I liked it, which formed a foundation for my 3rd marriage – my current marriage.
 
I met Richard who was from England one year after my 2nd husband died in HK. We have now been happily married for 7 years and it has been the happiest time of my life! We had our second child Leo in 1999. Because of our love, we have developed Asian Promise and I have written 3 books that are all about love and marriage. (The first two are Chinese language books and the most recent one is “Chinese Women in Love and Marriage” in English)
 
From my personal life, I have gained a strong belief in “LOVE (in general)”, and I believe “LOVE” and “love (in relationships)” is not constrained by nationality. I want to use my belief and happiness to help others find love and enjoy love as much as I do.
 
2. How does your husband feel about the book?
 
Richard has written his review at webpage: http://www.asianpromise.com/chinese-women-in-love-and-marriage.htm
 
Richard has given me lots of support on my work and books. I have to say that without his support and love, I could not have developed Asian Promise or written my books. I have expressed it sincerely in my “afterword” of my book.
 
3. How did you go about researching this book? Did you interview Chinese women and foreigners, and those in cross-cultural relationships or is it mainly based on personal experience? Where did you contact couples to get information? How did you contact them? Did the majority of them meet online, or in person?

 

  1. From my daily correspondence with my customers by emails and telephone calls over the last 6 years..

  2. From my annual workshops in China (meeting and lecturing Chinese ladies who want to find love and marriage) since year 2000.

  3. From true stories from my customers, my friends and myself.

  4. From two email surveys, one for Chinese women in 2003 and one for Western men in 2004 (more than 100 people involved). I sent two set of questions to women and men to ask them about their thoughts on Internet dating, their choice, their attitudes to cross-cultural relationships (CCR).

  5. Most of the true stories I used in the book are from people who met online.

 

4. You seem to have generally had positive feedback from the men who have used your book. Have you ever had negative feedback? If so, from whom and what were your feelings about that.
 
I haven’t received any negative feedback since it was published as an e-book in June this year (2006). However I do receive feedback from men who ask me more questions that I haven’t covered in my book after they read my book. If I need to improve the book, I would like to add one more chapter on FAQ later. I am not doing this now because I am waiting for more questions from men.
 
5. What does the average Chinese woman think of your book? Do you plan to publish it also in Chinese?
 
It is written for Westerners and it is in English. So far only two Chinese ladies who have good English read it. They all like it very much. I have published one lady’s feedback on my site along with the men’s feedback (see: http://www.asianpromise.com/chinese-women-in-love-and-marriage.htm). I am not going to publish it in Chinese because I have written a Chinese language book, which has a different focus based on different concerns, strength and weakness but with the same goal, for Chinese already. Please see this at: http://www.asianpromise.com/Connecting-You-to-Love.htm.  
 
6. You go through advice for men on how to appear honest and genuine online - how many men do you think are simply playing around with women's hearts online? What do you think of these men? How do women avoid them?
 
There are, but not many from long distance dating sites and serious (for love and marriage only) or paid dating sites – it isn’t worth it and is not necessary. From our Asian Promise experience, less than 10% of men are playing games. I believe games happen much more in local dating sites, free dating sites and multi-purpose dating sites. I understand people can date for different reasons. However it would be unfair for men to play games with ladies who are seriously looking for true love and marriage. I am glad to see most Western men are open with their dating intentions from our Asian Promise experience.
 
Although there are men who just play games online and they don’t tell the truth, it is easy to find out if you follow the advices that are now given by many dating websites (I have written advice for women and men in my books as well).
 
The most important thing for people to avoid being cheated is to learn and grow. There are risks everywhere, including dating online and offline, in CCR and non-CCR. Love is a risk itself. Whether you can avoid them is nothing to do with how do you meet or what kind of relationship you have, it depends on the people who are in the situation. No one can avoid risks, but one can learn to reduce the risks.
 
7. What about the dangers of meeting and dating online - for both sides (men can be scammed, so can women)?
 
Honestly speaking, it is safer to date online than offline. You can have a good communication before you meet, of which people focus on more soul connection than physical attraction. More than 70% of our customers married after they met in person after date online. Having a good communication before meeting is the advantage of meeting online, which is a key to relationship success.
 
The only down side I can think of is that the Internet is in unreal setting that could make it easier for people who want to trick people. Therefore, Internet dating may not be a good way to meet, for love and marriage, for people who have less life experience or who are not sensible and not realistic. Again, it depends on the person. If the person is not mature and sensible, he/she could be in danger in whatever way to meet.
 
8. Cross cultural relationships are very tricky, even when two people fall in love in person. How do you think the internet makes this easier/harder?
 
Please refer it to chapter 4 of the book.
 
9. Do you ever get any queries about foreign women seeking Chinese men? Why or why not do you think?
 
It is a good question. The answer is no. May be my service hasn’t targeted this market, or there may be not a market there. I am not sure about the exact reason and I want to find out too. I do have queries from Chinese men who want to find Western women. I am a Chinese lady, so my expertise and interest really is to help Chinese women. For a business, I have to think what I am good at, not just what I like to do.
 
10. Do you ever get accused of stereotyping Chinese women? What have your responses been to these types of accusations? 
 
No. There are common views and attitudes towards love and marriage stemming from Chinese history and upbringing. However in my book I have emphasized that most of Chinese women today are open-minded, willing to learn new things and that “culture” is actually practiced by each person individually. In the end, it will be entirely up to the two of you to work through. I have tried not to express any generalizations about Chinese women myself, but I do quote what men say about Chinese women in my book (please refer to chapter 2).
 
11. How do you feel about marketing a "race" of women, in terms of them being seen as a commodity?
 
That is not my interest at all. I think it is old fashioned and it has become history.
 
I know that your book is in no way related to mail-order brides, but why do you think that Chinese women are so appealing that an entire book can be written about them as ideal brides?  
 
I can write an entire book about Chinese women not because they are ideal brides (an ideal bride has nothing to do with her race, it depends on individual need), but because I know them very well. I would like to write and help other foreign women if I knew them as well as Chinese women. I believe women from different backgrounds and countries have their unique attraction. Unfortunately I don’t know women from other nations well enough to tell. I am a Chinese lady, so I am able to paint the full picture of Chinese women today to people who don’t know them well.
 
What makes Chinese women different from Western women?  
 
Please refer to chapter 2 of the book.  
 
12. Do you think it is a different type of man that is attracted to a Chinese woman? In that, I mean, are the men more gentle/caring/adventurous/ambitious? Why would a man choose a Chinese bride over a foreign bride?  
 
People choose Chinese brides for different reasons. Please refer to my book chapter 2. 
 
13. You are coming to China in November - what are your plans while you're here? Will you be promoting the book to the foreign community across China ? 
 
Absolutely not. I do my usual annual workshop (this is in my Author profile of the book) in China to meet and lecture Chinese women who want to find true love. I have done this since year 2000 when Asian Promise started.
 
I just completed the book "Chinese Women in Love and Marriage" last month. Before I wrote the book "Chinese Women in Love and Marriage", I have completed two Chinese languages books already (they are in author profile too). One of them is to help Chinese to find true love (you can see the details of the book at: http://www.asianpromise.com/Connecting-You-to-Love.htm), which has been published in Hong Kong and the mainland of China in 2005 and 2006.
 
My goal and work is to help Chinese women to find love and marriage internationally, while my guide to Westerners and the issue of cross-cultural relationships has just, by chance, come to cross my goal.
 
14. Will you be holding any workshops etc.? What will these teach participants? Have you held these workshops before? 
 
Please see my answer in question 13. 
 
15. Have you heard recently about Ms. Gong Haiyan and her online dating services and how she planned to bring foreign men to China for a week to meet Chinese women but then the government stopped it and refused to allow her to arrange such activities? Why do you think the government is afraid of this type of thing?  
 
I haven't heard of her plan (thank you for the information), but I do know her website. I know the Chinese government is always cautious about CCR. I understand it because there have been bad and sad stories about CCR before and now. Besides, there are so many match making agents that are doing things for money not for customers’ benefits in China , they have planted the bad seeds for their customers’ future. I think the Chinese government wants to avoid the bad stories happening by controlling those agents’ practice. The US has introduced very strict laws governing CCR agents/sites too in March (IMBRA).
 
However I think the ultimate solution for government is to educate people to have a good attitude about love and marriage and introduce them the real Western thoughts about love and marriage, which will leave no chance for those agents to make dishonest money from people. “To give the sword to people” is the most effective way to help people and to stop someone using people’s ignorance to make money. No one can stop people to find true love, but Chinese people do need to be taught how to find it. Good education on love and marriage is still very poor in China compared to the Western world. This is the ultimate reason behind most of the sad stories, not only in CCR, but also in local relationships and marriages. 
 
Offering more opportunities for people to meet for love and marriage is not good enough, teaching them the right way to approach is even more important. This is the aim of my books and Asian Promise.     
 
16. Have you ever experienced any negativity from the Chinese authorities?
 
I had difficulties to get my first Chinese language book (Connecting you to love/Finding true love online) published in mainland China at the beginning. I had contacted several editors in different government publishers in China and I was rejected for different reasons. I knew it was mainly the topic. The publishers were not sure about it. This led me to firstly publish my book in Hong Kong by Cosmos Books. Ironically I wrote it out of demand by Chinese from mainland China .  
 
However the core of my book is teaching Chinese to find true love and introducing to people Western thoughts above love and marriage (there are many myths on this issue). I use the Internet as a way to get it into the market. The entire contents of the book are positive. After all, I am not promoting Internet dating and CCR. So it got published by the Chinese Youth Press, a big government publisher in Beijing , as soon as I contacted them. It was published 8 months after its publication in HK. I am very pleased. The Chinese government does help and support their people to learn and grow.
 
In general speaking, Asian Promise and my books are doing fine in China . More and more people know Asian Promise and my books, and the Asian Promise website has been listed in all the major Chinese search engines. Asian Promise is a serious dating site and it helps Chinese women to find love and marriage internationally. Although we can not promote our service in Chinese newspapers or through the media under government policy (we would need to have special permission for which we haven’t applied), we don’t have any trouble to do our business on Internet.    

More to say:

In addition, I would like to emphasize that Asian Promise and I are not working to promote CCR, we are helping Chinese women to find love internationally. People have many different reasons to choose CCR (the reasons for Chinese women to choose Western men and vice versa are in my book chapter 2. As the world becomes more and more international and more and more people use the Internet, there will be more and more CCR without any doubt.
 
To help people who are in CCR is result of my belief and part of my goals. I want to tell people, who choose CCR, that CCR works! As I said in my book “Afterword”:
 
“For a cross-cultural relationship, the difference is not the issue; rather it is the attitude to the difference which is the issue. If you are a person who likes difference and challenge, then a cross-cultural relationship is a Godsend. However, the heart of the issue is “LOVE”. With love, everything is possible! ” 
 
- Interviewed by Laura Hutchison, September 2006, just after the book launch

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