A woman from China’s Sichuan province has been reunited with her parents for the first time since she was abducted 17 years ago. According to the South China Morning Post, the 22-year-old woman contacted her father after noticing a resemblance between herself and a portrait of the wanted man shared by the man on social media. The case sparked a debate about child trafficking in China.
Jinrong Zhang was four-and-a-half years old when she was abducted in 2006 after her parents lost her on the street in Chengdu, China’s Sichuan province. “Zhang was sold to his adoptive parents and grew up in Pasong, Sichuan, about 300km from where he went missing,” Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.
Thanks to the portrait, he reunited with his daughter after 17 years
The now 22-year-old girl’s father, Rengui Zhong, quit his job to devote himself to searching for his daughter across China, “incurring huge debts” in the process. “The only way to feel like a father is to continue looking for my daughter,” Zhang said, as quoted by “SCMP.” In 2018, a person commissioned a portrait of a missing teenage girl based on descriptions of her appearance from childhood. He posted the finished portrait on bulletin boards and in a video on the Dooin platform, the Chinese version of TikTok.
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Zhang, who already knew he was adopted, saw a resemblance between himself and the portrait. According to “SCMP,” he “immediately contacted the father,” and DNA tests confirmed a link to the 21-year-old, currently married and father of a boy who was looking for his daughter. On November 2, Zhang met his biological parents for the first time in 17 years. “My daughter has been found. Thank you for your care and support for my family all these years,” Rengui Zhang said on social media.
Child abduction debate
“SCMP” noted that the case sparked a debate in China about child trafficking in that country. Child trafficking has been a serious problem in China for decades, finding willing “buyers” in connection with the government’s one-child policy.
In 2021, the BBC pointed out that the problem still exists and thousands of children are trafficked each year. This is especially true for young boys, as Chinese families traditionally prefer a male heir. In 2015, an estimated 20,000 children were abducted in China and sold for adoption both domestically and abroad. Early last year, the “China Daily” website said it had found more than 10,000 people by 2021, according to Chinese officials. Missing and abducted children.
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South China Morning Post, China Daily, tvn24.pl
Main photo source: South China Morning Post
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