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After her failed marriage to Canadian Blaine Grunewald, Chinese actress Yuan Li caused a sensation last year when she warned, “you can better appreciate Chinese men after marrying a foreigner,” sparking discussion on the contentious issue of interracial relationships.
See Also: The Chinese Movie Stars Who Regret Their Failed Relationships with Foreign Men
Much of the coverage at that time centered on negative aspects of failed marriages of female Chinese celebrities to foreign men. And yet, there are also a number of Chinese stars who have successful marriages that cross cultural divides. Here they are as listed by the People’s Daily Online Guangxi:
The Lust, Caution star married South Korean film director Kim Tae-yong in July 2014. The pair first met while shooting the film Late Autumn in 2009, but only began dating in October 2013 after Tang had returned to South Korea to shoot a commercial.
Stephy Qi married her Korean-American husband Lee Seung-hyun in September 2014. As proof of their great chemistry together that the People’s Daily calls “sweet and cute”, Qi posted a photo of her “slapping” Lee in a photo posted to the Weibo micro-blogging platform (seen above).
After keeping it secret from the public and the press, Taiwanese singer Valen Hsu was revealed to have married her South Korean husband Choi Jae-sung in 2013 when the news was revealed at the wedding for Charlie Young.
Hong Kong-American singer and recent I am A Singer winner Coco Lee married Jewish-Canadian businessman Bruce Rockowitz in a Hong Kong ceremony in October 2011.
Hong Kong cantopop singer Gigi Leung married Spaniard Sergio Crespo Gutes in October 2011 on the island of Ibiza after a whirlwind romance. The two met when Leung was vacationing by herself in Barcelona, Spain, and Gutes eventually followed her back Hong Kong to woo her.
Karen Joy Morris (Mok)
Hong Kong singer and actress Karen Joy Morris married her first boyfriend, German Johannes Natterer, on October 2011 in a romantic ceremony held in a chapel in Florence, Italy.
Often referred to as the “Singaporean Mandopop Queen”, Stefanie Sun married Dutch Indonesian Nadim Van Der Ros in a secret ceremony held on March 2011 that included guests like Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai and the president of Warner Music for China.
Eventually going on to win the Hundred Flowers award for Best Actress in 1995, Shen Danping married a German national referred to as “Wu Wei” in Chinese back in 1983, before she had even graduated from acting school.
Mainland Chinese actress Ma Yashu married Australian-American games company owner James Robert Hyatt in June 2010, less than a year after she divorced Taiwanese singer and actor Nicholoas Wu (Wu Qilong) in August 2009.
In September 2008, Chinese mainland actress Hu Jing married Zhu Zhaoxiang, a rich Malaysian businessman with a personal net worth of 5 billion RMB.
The original People’s Daily article didn’t go into detail to explain why these cross-cultural relationships are successful. However, judging from this list of ten celebrity couples of Chinese women and their foreign husbands, there are a few things we can say.
First, most of these marriages are relatively recent, with most of them taking place within the last five years. Without counting Shen Danping’s 32 year marriage, the other nine average just over four and a half years.
Another point is that while most of these women are ethnically Chinese, they have nationalities outside of China. Furthermore some of them, like Coco Lee and Karen Joy Morris, have been Westernized from a young age, and are more capable of adapting to a Westernized partner.
But perhaps the weirdest thing we have found out is that this list of Chinese celebrities married to foreign husbands has been hanging around the Chinese internet for awhile now, only to serve a different purpose depending on the context. In a November 2012 list of top Chinese celebrities who have married foreigners, a number of these same couples appear while accompanied by the same written description and photograph.
However, some previously listed celebrity couples have since been replaced. Examples include Yuan Li, Ning Jing, Li Lingyu, and Wei Wei, all of whom have been relocated to lists of Chinese celebrities with failed marriages to foreign men.