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Military vet returns to China after being trapped in India for 50 years
   2017-02-10 11:26:08    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Jing

Wang Qi holds his mother's photo. [Photo: Agencies]

Eighty-year-old military veteran Wang Qi is to leave India on Friday bound for his hometown in northwest China's Shaanxi province, after being trapped in India for over half a century, and spending seven of those years in prison.

Wang was stationed near the Indian border while serving with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1963, when he accidently wandered into India and due to his lack of official documents has been unable to leave ever since, CCTV reports.

Wang expressed a strong desire to return home, but his request had been denied due to Wang's complex identity and lack of travel funds.

A favourable turn of events occurred after Wang's nephew Wang Yingjun visited him in 2009, with his nephew reporting Wang's story to authorities in China.

With help from many people, Wang Qi finally got his passport in 2013.

Wang Qi, now nearly 80 years old, has been living in a remote Indian village for 50 years after mistakenly wandering over the border, trapping him there, in 1963. [Photo: Agencies]

The Chinese embassy in India said it had kept in touch with Wang, as well as the relevant authorities in India, and had tried their best to help Wang.

Long Yue Charity based in Shenzhen is covering all Wang's expenses for his return home, while the civil affairs bureau in Shaanxi province has promised to provide Wang with special care.

The village committee where Wang was born has also announced they will provide him with a home if he plans to stay in the village for the rest of his life.

Wang Qi, a former PLA soldier, was tasked with building roads when he mistakenly crossed the border into India in 1963. [Photo: Agencies]

Wang joined the Chinese People's Liberation Army in 1960 and was tasked with building roads for the Chinese army on the border with India in 1963, but in December of that year he lost his way after wandering away from camp.

He flagged down a Red Cross vehicle, and was picked up and handed over to the Indian army, and then spent the next seven years in a number of different prisons across India.

A photo of Wang Qi with his family in India. [Photo: Agencies]

Upon his release in 1969, he was taken to Tirodi, a small and remote village in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

Wang made a living for himself, learnt Hindi and adopted an Indian name and later married a local woman and raised four children, but said his biggest wish was to return to China for his remaining years.

Wang Qi was able to have a video chat in January, 2017 with his now 84-year-old brother for the first time. "I couldn't recognize him. He looked so old. He said he was alive just for me." [Photo: Agencies]

During this Chinese New Year holiday, Wang saw his 84-year-old brother Wang Zhiyuan via video chat for the first time ever, his last contact with his brother had been in 1986.

Wang said he has sorely missed the handmade noodles of his hometown.

Wang Qi, now nearly 80 years old, has been living in a remote Indian village for 50 years after mistakenly wandering over the border, trapping him there, in 1963. [Photo: Agencies]

A photo of Wang Qi's siblings in China. [Photo: Agencies]

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