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Database to help prevent bigamy

By He Dan (

14:07, December 25, 2011

BEIJING - Cases of marriage fraud will become less common if the establishment of a national marriage database in 2012 has the effect top civil authorities want it to.

The database, which was announced on Friday, will record the marital statuses of Chinese citizens who tied the knot in the past six decades. That information will be uploaded to the Internet next year, said Li Liguo, civil affairs minister.

So far, 25 provinces and autonomous regions have set up their own online databases, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Chinese law forbids polygamy. Even so, people manage from time to time to take more than one spouse.

Such abuse is difficult to prevent without the help of a national marriage database, said Jiang Yongping, a researcher at the Women's Studies Institute of China.

"People tend to move more these days," Jiang said. "And they are likely to marry people whose pasts they know very little about."

Xiao Rong, a 39-year-old resident of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, discovered her husband Wei Zhicheng was a bigamist when she was in court trying to divorce him, local media reported.

Xiao had met Wei, a businessman, at a trade fair in 2002. A few months later, they were living together.

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