Chinese boy abandoned in Vietnam returns home after five years

By Ngoc Tai   June 27, 2024 | 01:45 am PT
Chinese boy abandoned in Vietnam returns home after five years
Zheng Huanyi (L) and Ha Tuan Minh, director of a tourism company in Kien Giang, are at HCMC's Tan Son Nhat Airport as they wait for Zheng's flight home in China. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Bang
A Chinese boy abandoned in the Mekong Delta's Kien Giang Province wandered around for several years before receiving help from authorities to return home to China's Zhejiang Province.

Zheng Huanyi, 15, travelled to Vietnam with his father five years ago as tourists.

In HCMC, his father became acquainted with a woman in Kien Giang, and brought Zheng back to the woman's hometown.

Three years later, Zheng's father left him without any obvious reason. The 12-year-old boy was abandoned and had been wandering around ever since.

He managed to stay at a pagoda in Ngoc Chuc Commune, Giong Rieng District. As Zheng can speak Vietnamese and Khmer, people at the pagoda did not realize he was Chinese.

In April, the Ngoc Chuc People's Committee found that Zheng has been staying at the pagoda, so they encouraged him to provide authorities with his information, and Zheng told them his story.

Ly Thanh Luan, chairman of the Ngoc Chuc People's Committee, said authorities have cooperated to help Zheng return home.

There were many procedures, and verification from the Chinese Embassy was also needed.

Ha Tuan Minh, director of a tourism company in Kien Giang, which has had many years of experience leading Chinese tourists, was contacted by authorities to help look for clues regarding Zheng's home.

Through his connections, Minh was able to find Zheng's grandmother who lives in China's Zhejiang Province.

Minh and the police discussed the matter with the Chinese Embassy to further verify the boy's identity, before helping him return home.

"After hearing news of the boy going home, many people have bought him teddy bears, milk and gifts to bring with him. My wife also gave him ¥200 ($28) so he could purchase food once he got to the airport," Minh said.

The Chinese Embassy on Monday sent a document to the Kien Giang police to provide Zheng favorable conditions to help him go home.

His mother, Ten Wei, has allowed Minh to perform necessary procedures to bring her son home.

Huanyi was brought to HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport with Minh on Wednesday.

He landed in Shanghai at night, meeting with his relatives and returning to his home in Zhejiang about 200 km away.

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