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Long Hongxiang's role gives her a profound influence over romantic prospects for the village's young singles

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Matchmaker Long Hongxiang can’t remember exactly when she is born, but thinks she is about 98 years old.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Matchmaker Long Hongxiang, seen here in Lower Qiantan, China, Jan. 14, 2013. China’s changing demographics are making her job harder.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Matchmaker Long Hongxiang says she has arranged more than 100 marriages over the course of her career.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Matchmaker Long Hongxiang says romantic attraction isn’t part of her calculation. “I don’t worry about whether love will result. That can be fostered after the couple is married.”

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Even with the matchmaking business getting harder, Grandma Long says she’ll never retire – because her work is also the secret of her longevity.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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“I have no demands. I’ll accept any woman I can find,” said Wu Jinsong, a 24-year-old who was gathering firewood recently in the mountains around Lower Qiantan.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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The village of Lower Qiantan, China, a place that modernity, in the form of a few mobile phones, is only now starting to touch. Internet dating isn’t an option here; no one in town owns a computer.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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