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HONG KONG — It’s like the Newlywed Game, but for divorce. 香港——这就像新婚问答游戏,却被用来离婚。 In some parts of China, married couples seeking to split up have been asked to take a quiz issued by the local authorities. The more they knew about each other — including a spouse’s birthday or favorite food — the less likely they were to have the divorce immediately approved. 在中国的一些地区,想要离婚的夫妻会被要求参加当地政府的考试。他们对彼此的了解越多——包括配偶的生日或最爱的食物——就越不可能立即办妥离婚。 The quizzes, issued in at least two provinces since last year, follow the format of a typical three-part school exam: fill-in-the-blank, short answer and an essay. Questions include the mundane — “When is your anniversary?” — and the philosophical: “Have you fulfilled your responsibility to your family?” 从去年开始,至少已有两个省份开始进行这样的考试。考试遵循学校考试典型的三步走形式:填空、简述、陈述。问题包括平平无奇的“你们的结婚纪念日?”,也有哲学性的“你在家庭中尽了什么责任?”。 The divorce rate in China is rapidly rising, driven largely by working women who feel newly empowered to seek one. But the government is trying to slow the trend, which it sees as a source of social instability. 中国的离婚率正在迅速上升,这主要是因为职业女性刚刚感觉自己得到了可以寻求离婚的赋权。但政府正在试图减缓这种趋势,并将其视为社会不稳定的一个源头。 The quizzes — 15 questions, scored on a scale of 100 points — were developed as a way to prevent “impulse divorces,” Liu Chunling, an official in Lianyungang, a city in Jiangsu Province, told The Yangtse Late News. Local news outlets reported that the authorities considered a score of 60 points or higher to mean “room for recovery,” and those couples were encouraged to work on their marriages. 江苏省连云港市的官员刘春玲告诉《扬子晚报》,这份有15道题的百分制测验卷是为了防止“冲动型离婚”而制定的。本地新闻报道,政府认为60分及以上表明有“挽回余地”,他们会鼓励这样的夫妻去修补婚姻。 “Through the guidance of the questions, couples can reminisce on the moments of their relationship and reflect on their familial roles and responsibilities,” Mr. Liu, who oversees Lianyungang’s civil marriage registry, told the newspaper. “随着一个又一个问题的引导,让他们回忆起夫妻之间的点点滴滴,反思自己在婚姻家庭中的角色与责任。”连云港民政局婚姻登记处主任刘春玲告诉该报。 Attempts to reach officials in Lianyungang were unsuccessful. Workers in Mr. Liu’s office refused to say whether the quizzes were still being given. 记者未能成功联系上连云港的官员。刘春玲办公室的工作人员拒绝透露该考试是否仍在进行。 Nearly two million Chinese couples divorced in the first half of 2017, an 11 percent increase from the year before, according to state news media. About 3 percent of all married couples sought a divorce last year, up from fewer than 1 percent in 2002, according to iFeng, a state-owned news channel, which cited the Ministry of Civic Affairs. 据国家新闻媒体报道,2017年上半年,中国有将近200万对夫妻离婚,比上年增加了11%。据国有新闻频道凤凰网引述民政部称,在所有已婚夫妇中,大约有3%的夫妇在去年试图离婚,而这一比例在2002年还不到1%。 Mr. Liu said the quizzes were meant only to be a starting point, not the deciding factor in whether a couple could split up. But at least one couple’s high score resulted in the authorities’ preventing their divorce in another province last year. 刘春玲表示,考试只是一个起点,不是一对夫妻是否可以离婚的决定性因素。但是去年,其他省份至少有一对夫妻因为获得了高分而导致离婚受政府制止。 A court in Yibin, a city in Sichuan Province, refused to grant the couple a divorce in September after citing their stellar test scores, according to local news outlets. 据当地新闻媒体报道,去年九月,四川宜宾一个法院援引这对夫妻优秀的考试成绩,拒绝了他们的离婚申请。 More than 70 percent of divorces filed in China last year were initiated by women, The South China Morning Post reported, citing the Supreme People’s Court. In most filings, incompatibility was given as the major reason; 15 percent cited domestic violence. 《南华早报》引述最高人民法院的数据,在去年提起的离婚案中,70%以上由女性提出。夫妻不合是大部分案子提及的主因,15%的案子指向了家庭暴力。 However, a smaller number of divorces appear to be shams resulting from a quirk in Chinese real estate law. Some cities limit the number of properties a married couple can own. By legally divorcing, a couple can buy more real estate in some of the world’s most expensive cities. 不过,其中也有一小部分似乎是由于中国奇怪的房地产法而提出的假离婚。一些城市会限制已婚夫妇可拥有的房产数量。通过合法离婚,夫妻便可以在世界上一些最昂贵的城市里购置更多的房产。 The state’s focus on preventing divorce, experts said, stems from a Confucian belief that a stable society is made up of complete families. 专家表示,国家对防止离婚的关注源于儒家信仰——一个稳定的社会要由完整的家庭组成。 “Only through thousands of harmonious family units can an entire society achieve harmony,” said Mr. Liu, the Lianyungang official. “只有千千万万个家庭细胞和谐了,才能实现全社会的和谐。”连云港官员刘春玲说。 The Chinese government has regulated many aspects of private family life, including religion and pregnancy. 中国政府对私人家庭生活的多个方面都已施加了管制,包括宗教和怀孕。 “Marriage and family are seen as a stabilizing force, and the government wants to keep men and women in marriages,” said Leta Hong Fincher, author of “Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China.” “婚姻和家庭被视为一种稳定力量,政府希望男女保持婚姻关系,”《背叛老大哥——女性主义在中国的觉醒》(Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China)的作者洪理达(Leta Hong Fincher)说。 Chinese internet users were quick to criticize the divorce quizzes after a copy of Lianyungang’s was posted on Weibo, a popular microblogging site, by the city’s Civic Affairs Bureau. 在连云港民政局把一份该市的离婚考卷发到了中国热门网站——微博之后,中国网民的批评接踵而至。

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纽约时报中英文网 www.qqenglish.com

“So if you remember your wedding anniversary you can’t divorce?” one commenter wrote. “Divorce isn’t a case of amnesia.” “记得结婚纪念日就不能离婚了?”有人评论道。“人离婚又不是失忆。” “They are adults and they have the right to divorce,” another Weibo user wrote. “Isn’t this an interference in domestic affairs?” “都是成年人了,离不离婚是人家的权利,”另一位微博用户写道。“这么做不是干涉内政嘛?” Officials in Lianyungang have pushed back against the criticism, saying that taking the quiz was voluntary. 连云港的官员反驳了这些批评,称这个考试是自愿的。 “The main objective is to let the couple consider this rationally and to treat it seriously,” the bureau said on Weibo in response to the most popular online comments. “主要目的还是想让婚姻双方理性思考、认真对待,”该市民政局在微博上对最热门网络评论回应道。



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