Chinese dating may be a top or secondary goal for you while in China, but, of course, you will still have to make a decent living and, as much as possible, also try to live a good quality of life. City living can definitely give you more opportunities to achieve the former, but not the latter.
Making a decent living is always a given for any man who has serious, long-term relationship goals, not only when he’s dating a Chinese woman, but any other woman from a different cultural background, as well. Having a good quality of life is often taken for granted and exchanged for good earning potential, but it is just as important to a man’s dating and relationship success, if not more.
For the most part, Chinese city living does provide expats with great opportunities to earn good money and make themselves suitable providers to their ideal Chinese lady; at the same time, living in China’s first-tier cities can drastically reduce their quality of life, both in terms of physical and spiritual health.
A report on the urban competitiveness of China, made by the Chinese National Academy of Sciences’ National Academy of Economic Strategy, ranked China’s first-tier cities based on their suitability for living in terms of quality of life indicators, such as general cost of living, pollution, traffic, and general ecological environment. Only two, Hong Kong and Macau, were classified as among the “most livable.” (Source: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-05/21/content_16513621.htm)
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and most other first-tier Chinese cities, which many expats prefer to live and work in, did not make the grade.
These three cities, in particular, are among the top 10 with the best commercial advantages, cultural development, and city and countryside unification. They have the biggest economic development and are the most preferred areas for both local and international investments. For these reasons, they provide expats and the Chinese people alike with the best employment opportunities, as well as a high-standard of living in terms of access to modern comforts and technologies.
For expats, especially, being in a culturally diverse environment and having access to the best academic and medical resources, career opportunities, and western comforts can make their attempt at a new and better life in China easier to pursue. Dating opportunities are also very good in these cities, as Chinese women who live/flock there are often well-educated, independent, and modern.
But when it comes to “habitability,” these cities are not the best options, especially when one is also looking to start a family in the future. Beijing, for example, boasts of having a very diverse population, a large expat community, the best medical facilities, and modern infrastructures; but the city has sacrificed the most basic essentials in exchange for its development. Air and water quality, for example, is so poor that it is a chronic and very serious public health issue.
Despite the fact that these cities are also the most advanced in terms of railway technology, road congestion remains a huge problem; traffic jams are a daily headache. Rapid housing developments also do not translate to affordability; in fact, these places are the most expensive when it comes to real estate. Affordable housing, many times, means very small spaces and unreliable water and heating services. While western food is widely available, food safety, particularly involving the local food industry, remains a serious issue.
Having a culture that places a high value on balance and harmony, it is a surprise that most of China’s first-tier cities fail to achieve a balance between progress and habitability. They do offer the best opportunities but not the best conditions for living.
It can be said that China may now have a first-world economy, but living conditions in its most urbanized areas are still mostly on the “third-world level.”
Starting a new life in a new country can be challenging and an expat will have to go where the best opportunities are to increase his chances of success; perhaps China’s first-tier cities provide a great starting point, but eventually, he must also consider plans for the future, especially if they include having a family with his dream Chinese wife someday. Being a good provider, after all, does not only mean economic stability and comfortable living; it also means being able to provide a good quality of life.
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