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Man abducted in China at age 4 reunites with family decades later using hand-drawn map of his childhood home

Man abducted in China at age 4 reunites with family decades later using hand-drawn map of his childhood home..  Police reunited a Chinese man with his parents decades after his abduction using a map of his home village that he drew by hand.
Man abducted in China at age 4 reunites with family decades later using hand-drawn map of his childhood home
Man abducted in China at age 4 reunites with family decades later using hand-drawn map of his childhood home—-

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CNN reported that Li Jingwei was abducted from his home village in Yunnan province in 1988 by a man who his family knew, citing a report from The Paper, a state-run Chinese media outlet.

Li, now 37, knew he had been abducted when he was 4-years-old, but he could not remember his birth name, the name of his village, or his parents’ names, VICE reported.

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Li was taken to live with another family in Henan province after his abduction, The Paper reported. Though he couldn’t remember the name of his village, Li could remember aspects of the town, such as where the herds of water buffalo were, the rice patties and ponds near his home, and the directions of roads and rivers, the report says.

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On December 24, Li posted a video on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, asking for help to find his family, according to VICE. The video showed a hand-drawn map of his home village.

“I’m a child who’s finding his home,” Li said in the video, according to VICE. “I was taken to Henan by a bald neighbor around 1989, when I was about four years old. This is a map of my home area that I have drawn from memory.”

Li said in the video that he didn’t even know if his family was still looking for him because “so many years” had passed, The Paper reported.

“I want to be able to see my parents again while they are still here,” Li reportedly said in the video.

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Police used Li’s drawing to locate his birth mother in the city of Zhaotong in Yunnan province, The Paper reported. According to VICE, Li’s mother accurately described a scar on his chin in a phone call with Li, and DNA tests confirmed they were related on December 28.

Li was reunited with his mother on January 1 at a police station in Henan.

Stories about Li’s reunion with his parents have gained millions of views on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, according to VICE. Many people expressed sympathy for his mother and anger at the human trafficker who took him from his family, according to the outlet.

Child abduction has been an issue in China for many years due to the country’s former one-child policy, which was put in place in the 1980s and hit families with excessive fines for having more than one child. Boys were traditionally seen as more likely to continue the family line, which led to a surge in Chinese families giving up baby girls for adoption and opened a black market for baby boys, according to CNN.

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The policy has been relaxed in recent years and now allows for couples to have three children. But some young couples in China told Insider’s Cheryl Teh that most of their peers aren’t interested in having more than one child, because the cost of raising children is so high in China.

 

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