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Happy divorcees club together to celebrate
Updated: 2006-02-14 14:43

Chinese victims of broken marriages celebrated St Valentine's Day on Tuesday by launching a "divorce club" in the financial hub of Shanghai, Xinhua news agency said.

The club chose Valentine's for the launch because "it is a happy thing to escape from a dead marriage", Xinhua said, quoting club president Shu Xin as saying.

"At least 135 wealthy men and women had joined the club by the end of last week, among whom there were both divorcees and people seeking a divorce," Xinhua news agency quoted the Shanghai-based Youth Daily as saying on its Web site.

The club would provide counselling services -- and also organise social gatherings and divorce celebrations.

"Shu claimed that the club's Web site, now still under construction, is designed to accept up to 1 million members from across the world," Xinhua said.

Attitudes towards sex and marriage have relaxed since China began market reforms in the late 1970s, opening the doors to a huge increase in adultery and divorce.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, 1.6 million Chinese couples got divorced in 2004, up 21.2 percent from the year earlier.

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