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Chinese Man Sued Over Mistress

June 20, 2000

BEIJING (AP) _ A woman is taking her philandering husband to court in the first case of its kind since judges in south China ruled that extramarital affairs should be considered in settling divorces, a state-run newspaper reported Tuesday.

The woman, identified only by her surname, Ding, brought the suit in the southern city of Guangzhou, claiming her husband kept a mistress for more than a decade, the Beijing Daily reported.

Responding to an increasing number of complaints over extramarital dalliances, legal authorities in Guangdong province, of which Guangzhou is the capital, recently issued an opinion urging the new approach to divorce settlements.

Although affairs are the leading contributing factor in divorces, up until now courts have not taken such behavior into consideration when ruling on the division of property and custody of children, the newspaper said.

Wealthy Chinese men traditionally took more than one wife and kept mistresses, although such practices are now officially discouraged. Some men from Hong Kong, the former British colony which borders Guangdong, keep mistresses in the province, where living standards are generally lower.

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