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But martial arts expert Xiao Lin and her sister Yin say they will not tie the knot until their suitors beat them in kung fu combat.

They have invited men from across China to fight for the right to propose, after they have first demonstrated their archery skills and carried a heavy weight over some sharpened bamboo spears, that is.

Lin, 22, said: ‘They can choose open-hand combat or any weapon they wish but we won’t be holding back. If they can’t beat us, they aren’t worthy.’

Her 21-year-old sister added: ‘We tried dating agencies but the men we met were all too weak. ‘We could beat them easily. So we went back to ancient ways, called bi wu zhao qin, which was how warrior princesses would find their men.’

The sisters’ three-day fighting festival will be held in Foushan in the south-east of the country.

The pair will be masked throughout the challenges, so the men must risk life and limb without even knowing what their future brides look like.

Only the winning suitors will get to remove the masks.

But, so far, only a few brave contestants have come forward.

One doubtful warrior said: I’m a very good martial artist – but I think I’d want to see them with the masks off before I decided whether I wanted to fight for them.’