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Chinese photographer gets insight into child marriages across the country   [Copy link] 中文

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Jie was barely a teenager when she got married just three days after meeting her 18-year-old husband Wen.
They met at a Spring festival while the 13-year-old was visiting Wen's family when her husband-to-be insisted she stay and become his wife.
Unaware of birth control, the teen wife was soon pregnant and dropped out of school - a fate similar to an increasing number of child brides in rural China.

16-year-old Cai and 17-year-old Ming dated for three months before they got married in 2013. Now they live with his parents who support them financially - his mum does most of the child care and even breastfeeds to baby to comfort him when he cries

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16-year-old Xiao Cai holds her two-month son at home in Guangdong village, Mengla county, Yunnan province, China. Xiao Cai has been married for one year. She dropped out of school in the 5th grade because she could no longer afford to go

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13-year-old Xiao Jie married her 18-year-old husband just three days after the pair met. They now live at his parents home - who work more than 1,000 miles away to earn money to support them. Above, Jie looks out of a relative's bedroom in Wanhe village, Yunnan province

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Sociologists say young marriages in rural parts of China are historically common, but are increasing again in part thanks to the lifting of the one-child policy. Above, 13-year-old Jie's wedding photo hangs on their wall

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17-year-old Xiao Ming holds a breast pump, while his mother and 16-year-old wife hold his son
Photographer Muyi Xiao documented cases of the child brides and grooms rocking Chinese society, who can't believe the young teenagers are really in love.
The legal age of marriage in China is 20 for women and 22 for men, although most rural weddings are sealed with a banquet before legally registering the union when both bride and groom come of age.
Thanks to China's one-child policy, the gender imbalance in the country is stark as for years parents have preferred boys to girls.

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13-year-old Jie did not mean to fall pregnant so quickly but she did not know about contraception
But the young parents are often left reliant on their own parents to support their own fledgling family.
Jie lives in Wen’s parent's home on the top of a mountain in a village called Tangzibian.
Wen’s parents work more than 1,000 miles away in Anhui province, leaving the couple alone at home.
The money they send back every month is the only income for the young couple.

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Jie and her 16-year-old sister-in-law, who is also pregnant, sit next to the table where her husband is drinking with his male relatives

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