Af­ter 19 years, cou­ple get to­gether again

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHOU MO in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong sally@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

On the day they were fi­nally re­united, it had been 19 years since Ye Yong (not his real name) last saw his fa­ther.

The 25-year-old, who was ab­ducted from his home in south­west­ern Guizhou prov­ince in 1998, stood watch­ing the hori­zon, wait­ing for Liang Qiyou to ap­pear.

Once Liang ap­proached, the two hugged and wept.

“I have been miss­ing you ev­ery minute and ev­ery sec­ond all these years,” Liang said.

Ye now works at a restau­rant in Shen­zhen, south­ern Guang­dong prov­ince.

He went to the city four years ago af­ter be­ing in­vited by the el­der sis­ter from his adop­tive fam­ily, who runs the busi­ness.

He be­gan the search for his bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents in May by seek­ing help from a po­lice sta­tion.

“Re­u­nit­ing with my fam­ily has been my dream for years and when I learned that this is now a pos­si­bil­ity be­cause of DNA se­quenc­ing tech­nol­ogy, I did not hes­i­tate,” he said.

Ye was lucky. Liang re­ported his son miss­ing days af­ter his dis­ap­pear­ance and has re­peat­edly made at­tempts to find him, mean­ing his DNA was on file and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble us­ing the coun­try’s pub­lic se­cu­rity data­base sys­tem.

“If there was only DNA in­for­ma­tion for the son or the par­ent, the pos­si­bil­ity of re­u­nit­ing them would have been slim,” said Lu Baolei, an of­fi­cial with Shen­zhen’s pub­lic se­cu­rity bureau, which car­ried out the search.

Ac­cord­ing to Lu, 23 abduct- ees have been re­united with their fam­i­lies in Shen­zhen this year.

Named Liang Jian­she at birth, Ye spent his early years in a vil­lage in Guizhou with his grand­mother and younger sis­ter, while his par­ents worked at a brick fac­tory in dis­tant An­hui prov­ince.

It was a rainy sum­mer night in 1998 when Ye was snatched from his bed by three men as he slept be­side his grand­mother and younger sis­ter, who was then only 1.

“It was about 3 am. We were all in a deep sleep. I didn’t wake up and re­al­ize what had hap­pened un­til I had al­ready been car­ried out of the house. When I cried loudly, they threat­ened me with a gun,” Ye said.

Af­ter be­ing taken, he was trans­ferred from per­son to per­son and trans­ported in trains and cars be­fore ar­riv­ing at a vil­lage in Fu­jian prov­ince, where he was sold to a fam­ily.

“The traf­ficker lied to my adop­tive par­ents and said that I was his own child. He pre­tended to be sad, say­ing he was re­luc­tant to make the deal. They bought me for 10,000 yuan ($1,480),” he said.

Los­ing Ye was a huge blow to Liang and his wife.

“Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions were un­der­de­vel­oped at the time. We got the bad news sev­eral days later from a tele­gram my mother sent me and we rushed home im­me­di­ately,” Liang said.

The three men who took Ye were ar­rested a week af­ter his ab­duc­tion, but they did not know the boy’s where­abouts as they had al­ready sold him on to other traf­fick­ers.

“Ev­ery year, when our fam­ily had din­ner to­gether on the eve of Chi­nese New Year, we would put a bowl of rice and a pair of chop­sticks on the table, hop­ing our son would come back,” Liang said.

In his quest to find Ye, Liang moved around the coun­try, tak­ing work in Zhe­jiang and Jiangsu prov­inces, as well as Shang­hai. He es­ti­mated he spent more than 100,000 yuan look­ing for his son.

“We didn’t give up. We al­ways be­lieved we would find him one day,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics, 756 child-traf­fick­ing cases were cracked in China in 2015. From 2013 to 2016, Chi­nese courts con­cluded 3,713 crim­i­nal cases in­volv­ing the traf­fick­ing of women and chil­dren.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Liang Qiyou re­unites with his son in June in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince.

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