Journal : ECNS Date : Author : NA Page No. : NA

Photo Caption: Wang Zhiyuan shows the letter. (Photo/

Wang Zhiyuan has been waiting for the video call with his 52-year-old younger brother, Wang Qi, for over 50 years. The call from India was the first call between the two family members since the 1960s, when Wang Qi was captured in India and stayed in the country for the next five decades.

Wang Qi was born in 1937 and joined the army in the winter of 1960. He marched with his troop to a remote region in Qinghai Province in western China with a large Tibetan population and a thousand miles away from his hometown in north China’s Shanxi Province.

In 1961, Wang Qi’s mother and older brother, Wang Zhiyuan, traveled to Qinghai to visit him. At the time, they didn’t know it would be the last time they’d see each other for the next 50 years.

After getting back home, they did not hear from Wang Qi anymore. When Zhiyuan called the army looking for his younger brother, the receptionist told him Wang Qi went missing at the China-India border.

A letter they received in the summer of 1986 became a turning point for them. Zhiyuan recognized it as a letter from his younger brother, but no one understood the characters on the envelope. Zhiyuan set off to the city and finally found someone who could read it and confirmed that the letter was from India.

In the letter, Wang Qi wrote that he could only write to China after waiting for decades. He was now married and had two sons and two daughter that were all in school. He had a good life and ran a business.

Wang Qi also expressed his concern over his family back home. He had been depressed that he had not heard anything from his family.

He recalled the moment when he got lost in the forest after the border war finished. He was caught by an Indian troop and sent to jail for seven years. Since he didn’t have citizenship in India, he was left with nothing in an unfamiliar society.

In the help of a journalist, Wang Qi finally was able to video call his family in China this Lunar New Year.

Even if he has been in India for five decades, Wang Qi still retained a strong local accent.

Wang Qi’s story moved many people on the Internet. Many expressed their sympathy and willingness to help him come back home.

The good news is the Chinese embassy in India has contacted local departments in India, and are very willing to help the senior soldier return to his motherland. Wang Qi has successfully applied for a passport now.

The Shanxi Civil Affair Department and the local government also confirmed that if Wang Qi comes back, he will have the same pension as other retied soldiers. The village committee also allocated a small piece of land under his name and made sure he could enjoy the rest of his life in his hometown.

As of Friday night, Shenzhen Longyue Fund indicated they will cover the traveling fees for Wang Qi from India to China, and could very well be home this spring.

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