VnExpress International VnExpress International
The most read Vietnamese newspaper
Contact us |
Follow us on            instagram

Woman reunites with Vietnamese family after 19 years in China

By Hai Chi   November 8, 2022 | 04:47 pm PT
A 55-year-old woman was reunited with her family in Nghe An Province 19 years after she went missing. She’d been living in China with a husband and two children.

"I thought I would never see you again," Thuy cried as she embraced her loved ones in an emotional reunion on Monday.

Le Thi Thuy cries and faints after seeing her family in Nghe An Province again after spending 19 years in China, November 7, 2022. Video by VnExpress/Hai Chi

Le Trung Truc, director of the social work center in Nghe An Province, said Le Thi Thuy was received by a border guard station in Cao Bang from Chinese authorities on November 4.

Thuy said she was from the central province’s Quynh Vinh Commune, that she’d got married in China and had two kids, but had no personal documents with her.

She was transferred to the Nghe An social work center pending reunion with her family, but authorities could not trace them. The center then shared Thuy’s photos and information on certain forums and newspapers with the hope of finding her family.

Thanks to a neighbor, Le Xuan Hoa, living in Quang Binh, recognized his long-lost sister and her identity was verified after Thuy recounted details about her mother and her siblings. Thuy’s facial features had not changed much in 19 years, local reports said.

Thuy said she had been tricked to come to China. No further information was immediately available about how Thuy landed in China and how she was returned to Vietnam, but the trafficking of Vietnamese women across the border has not been an uncommon occurrence in recent decades.

Hoa said Thuy was the youngest daughter in a family of six siblings in Quang Binh. She couldn’t go to school because of her lisps and certain other traits. She had a child after she grew up, but in August 2003, she and her 9-year-old son left home for no apparent reason. Her family reported her absence to the police, but a search proved fruitless.

"During her wanderings, maybe my sister mistook her hometown," Hoa said, adding that Thuy was in an unstable state of mind and couldn’t speak much.

She said Thuy would live with her family in their hometown and once her health stabilizes, they would ask her about what happened to her son.

Le Thi Thuy (middle) hugs her two sisters in Nghe An Province, November 7, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Chi

Le Thi Thuy (C) hugs her two sisters in Nghe An Province, November 7, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Chi

Hundreds of thousands of women from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar have been smuggled or taken to China to wed local men, activists say. Some end up happily married, but many others suffer violence and forced labor.

According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, around 40 million men in China needed to look abroad for a wife, as of 2020. This situation has resulted from China’s former one-child policy, which saw families abort female fetuses for decades.

Hundreds of thousands of women from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar have been smuggled or taken to China to wed local men, activists say. Some end up happily married, but many others suffer violence and forced labor.

 
Wishing you an amazing lunar new year $1.99
Use Code "TET2023"
 
go to top