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Chinese Embassy Officials Meet Ex-PLA Soldier Who Crossed Border in 1962

Bhopal: A delegation from the Chinese Embassy on Saturday met 77-year-old Wang Qi, a Chinese soldier who was caught for entering the Indian territory shortly after the end of Sino-India War of 1962, and settled down in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat district after he was released.

Wang has long been wanting to visit his native land. “Three officials from Chinese Embassy in India met my father and talked to him for more than one hour. They assured him all possible help to visit China,” said his son 35-year-old Vishnu Wan, speaking to PTI over phone from Balaghat.

“A Chinese TV crew of 4-5 members also came with the officials and interviewed my father…We are hopeful now that he will be able to visit his birth place,” he added. Wang, who lives with his wife and three children in Tirodi area of Balaghat district, has not been able to visit China for the last five decades for want to permission from Indian government, according to the family.

“My father joined the Chinese army in 1960 and he entered India through the eastern frontier after losing his way in the darkness one night,” Vishnu said.

He landed in Assam where an Indian Red Cross team handed him over to the Indian Army on January 1, 1963. “My father spent six years in prisons in Assam, Ajmer, Delhi before the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered his release in March 1969,” Vishnu said.

“The Indian government had promised to the court that it would rehabilitate my father. He was taken to Delhi, Bhopal, Jabalpur and then finally handed over to Balaghat police.”

Wang started working as a watchman with a mill and soon his colleagues named him ‘Raj Bahadur’, apparently due to his ‘Nepali’ features, Vishnu said.

Then he met Sushila, a local girl, whom he married in 1975. “Soon after my father married my mother, the Indian government stopped his monthly pension of Rs 100,” said Vishnu, who works as an accountant.

“My father faced a lot of hardships, wanting to go to China. He tried very hard and even entered into correspondence with the then Prime Ministers but in vain,” he said.

Wang also moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court in 2009, but nothing came of it, Vishnu said.

“He couldn’t get Indian citizenship because of his Chinese origins. Hence he couldn’t buy land or avail of other facilities,” Vishnu said.

Wang’s mother died in China in 2006. Three years later, he met his nephew Yun Chun, who had come to India as a tourist.

After returning home, Chun got in contact with Chinese politicians and authorities. He met the then Chinese Foreign Minister who helped Wang get a Chinese passport in March 2013. Vishnu said his father wants permission to go to China to visit his four brothers and two sisters there before he dies, but no help is forthcoming from Indian authorities.

“My father often talks to them (his siblings) over phone in his native language,” he said.

Wang would return to India after meeting them, Vishnu added.