'Truth spoken without moderation reverses itself'
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Saturday, February 11, 2017
Chinese soldier, who strayed to India, waited 54 years to be allowed to go home // Chinese Soldier, Who Accidentally Crossed Border Returns Home
NB: It is a matter of shame for us Indians that bureaucratic procedures prevented Wang Qi from returning home for over 5 decades. To force a harmless man to remain in homesickness and anxiety for 54 years is sheer cruelty. BBC Hindi is to be congratulated for reporting this matter and playing a role in Wang's return. I wish Wang Qi a happy homecoming and best wishes for the remaining years of his life and so also to his fellow villagers -DS
China has changed
quite a bit in 54 years. In between, there was the Cultural Revolution, the
economic revolution and a revolution in how people communicate. For Chinese Peoples
Liberation Army surveyor Wang Qi, the five decades also meant the inevitable greying of years and hair. Maybe memories too. He was 23 when he
strayed across the inhospitable and mostly disputed border between India and
China, two countries that had once gone to war over it. On Saturday, at 77, Wang returned home. Along with family: Vishnu
Wang, daughter Anita Wankhede, daughter-in-law Neha Wang and grandson Khanak
Online China erupted
over Wang’s return. “Left home young and
return old, the accent has not been changed but the hair has been gray. Welcome
the veteran back home, and welcome him to watch the Yellow river and have a
bowl of noodles,” said one user. India got both bricks
and bouquet. “He is a surveying and
mapping soldier. It’s humanitarian for Indian that do not kill him at once.
It’s also reasonable that do not allow him to come back. Now after decades,
they finally let him back,” said one user. “In 1963, Wang, a
Chinese army surveyor, got lost, crossed the border and was captured by Indian
authorities. He was moved from one jail to another for nearly seven years when
he was finally released in 1969, police escorted him to the remote village of
Tirodi in Madhya Pradesh and told him to start a life there. He married a local
woman, and they had three children and grandchildren,” state-run China Daily
said in a widely followed report. Last week, Chinese
foreign ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang subtly indicated that Indian diplomacy
and bureaucracy held up Wang’s return.
“In recent years,
Chinese embassy to India had kept in close touch with Wang Qi and made
relentless effort to help him return to China including pushing Indian side on
exit and entry procedures for him,” Lu said. “In 2013, the Embassy
issued a 10-year Chinese passport to him and provided living allowance for him
every year since then. I believe that with the joint efforts of China and
India, and respecting the will of Wang Qi himself, the case will be properly solved,”
The China Daily report
said that on February 4, Luo Zhaohui, China’s ambassador to India, spoke by
telephone with Wang and expressed sympathy over his suffering over the years. “Yan Xiaoce, a
counselor at the Chinese embassy in India, visited Wang’s village on the same
day,” the report said.
“Liu Shurong, another
Chinese veteran, underwent the same plight as Wang and lives in the same
village. But Liu said he had no intention to return to China because he no
longer has family there”, the embassy told China Daily. Wang is eager to taste
noodles, a local specialty in Shaanxi, after arriving home. Yes, the bowl of
noodles is warm and waiting.
BEJING -- A Chinese
soldier, who was stuck in India for over 50 years after crossing the border
following the 1962 war, on Saturday returned to China with his Indian family
members to a rousing reception and an emotional reunion with his kin. Wang Qi, 77, was
received by his close Chinese relatives, besides officials of the China's
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Indian Embassy when he arrived here along with
his son, daughter-in-law and grand daughter from Delhi-Beijing flight.
Wang later travelled
to Xian, the provincial capital of Shaanxi province, where he was given a
rousing reception by his family members and officials.
Chaos and confusion
prevailed at the Xian airport as large contingent of Chinese media gathered
there to interview him. An emotional Wang
broke down as he hugged his close Chinese relatives, whom he met for the first
time after over five decades of separation. "Today is my
happiest day in 54 years. Finally I have come back to this beautiful lovely
country. Words cannot express how I feel now," he was quoted by the
state-run CGTN as saying. "It is a
beautiful experience. I love to thank everyone. In 54 years, I wrote so many
reports to officials in India and now finally they agreed to let me return
home," he said.
Away from home for so
long, he returned home on Lantern Day, the most important festival in China,
representing the reunion of families. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the
Chinese new year.
Wang was accompanied
by his son Vishnu Wang, 35, daughter-in-law Neha and grand daughter Khanak
Wang. His Indian wife
Shushila and daughter, however, have stayed back in India due to ill health,
officials said. Banners 'welcome home
soldier' greeted him at the airport.
After their brief stay
at the Beijing airport, Wang and family accompanied by two Indian diplomats
flew to Xian from where he was due to travel to his village Xue Zhai Nan Cun
located about 100 km away. However, he along with
family stayed put at a hotel in Xian as he was too tired to travel. Wang was
expected to go there tomorrow and stay there for the next few days.
The village has been
decorated with banners and the local government said he would be allotted a
house, if he stays back. His return was widely reported in the state media
here. "He was not able
to live comfortably as Indian authorities stopped his monthly pension. Wang has
been denied Indian official document for citizenship. Nor he was allowed to
travel back home," CGTN alleged, narrating Wang's ordeal. Indian officials say
that they received positive feed back from the Chinese government and his
family for facilitating his return. His return became a
possibility after India and China worked out modalities for both Wang and his
Indian family to travel together to China and later return as per their wish.