“Our child was healthy and adorable, with big beautiful eyes.” As Ms. Sun Jing spoke, her eyes sparkled with happiness, but soon, she was overwhelmed with tears. She continued: “It has been almost four years. We are always thinking about him—where are you, my son?” She recalled the tragic events that took place in the Jinzhou district of Dalian City.
According to Liaoshen Evening News, Chi Fuqing, 41, and his wife, Sun Jing, 34, were married in 1996. Their daughter was born the next year. On January 7, 2002, they had a baby boy but did not expect that a nightmare was about to begin.
On January 14, 2002, Xing Juan, chair of the Beile Town Women's Affairs Committee, went to the Chi's home and said, “Your son has no birth certificate [because of China's one child policy], so you must pay a fine of 100,000 yuan (about $13,000).” Xing Juan returned the next day and said, “The 100,000 yuan fine is not enough. Your house, as well as the houses owned by your relatives must be torn down.” When Xing Juan returned on the 16th, Mr. and Mrs. Chi immediately acknowledged their debt, but Xing Juan said the punishment was not enough; the child must be taken away, or else the house would be torn down the next day.
Chi Fuqing continued, “I was worried. What would happen to us if our house was torn down? In desperation, I agreed to send our son to an orphanage.”
“They were so heartless,” he recalled, “the child was less than a month old and we did not even have a chance to name him…” At this, Mr Chi lowered his head and pressed his hands against his eyes to hold back the tears. But a few tears had already fallen onto his lap.
Chi continued: “One afternoon, about a week later, Li Yongqun, the village leader, Yang Zhengbin, the head of Public Security and Xing Juan came to our home. Xing tried to take the child while my wife was feeding him. I urged my wife to give up the child, explaining that they would tear our house down and we would have nowhere to live. My wife started to cry and hugged our son tightly as she leapt down from the brick bed. Sobbing, she brought a little woven cap to put on his head and kissed him. I wrapped our baby in a small blanket and left in a car with Li, Yang, and Xing.”
“When we arrived at a hospital I wasn't familiar with, they allowed me to carry our child out of the car. I only saw many buildings and a big department store. They escorted me to the hospital's second floor and told me to leave the baby on a bench. I asked them, 'Aren't we supposed to go to the orphanage? Why are we here?' Yang Zhengbin did not answer. I was told to put the baby down and go back to the car, which I did. Two to three minutes later, Yang returned to the car and said that the doctor would send the child to the orphanage. On the way home, Yang told the others, 'This job was well done.' He seemed to have been relieved of a big burden.”
“That night, my wife and I could not sleep. So the next day, I gave in to my urge to see what had happened and went to the hospital; I could not find our baby boy. I went there several times after that but couldn't find out what had happened to him.”
“Last summer, Yang and Xing came to our place and warned us not to be careless and tell others what had happened to our child, otherwise our house would be at risk. The following day a man and a woman, who were in charge of family planning at the Jinzhou District Population and Family Planning Bureau, arrived to investigate the matter. Xing Juan accompanied them and, while I spoke, kept nudging me to prevent me from revealing the truth. I told them that the child had been picked up on the street and sent to the hospital.”
A reporter from the Liaoshen Evening News went to the Jinzhou District Population and Family Planning Bureau to verify the facts of the case. A person in the office said, “The family is talking nonsense, that couldn't happen.” The person declined to be interviewed as the manager was not available. Later, the reporter managed to contact the bureau's Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Zhang. He remembered the case and said, “An investigation found that the child had been found by Chi Fuqing. The village leader persuaded him to hand the child over to the hospital…We have reported this case to the relevant authorities.”
The reporter then called Yang Zhengbin, the person who “helped” give the baby away. When Yang realized that the reporter was asking about Chi Fuqing's son, he would not talk, saying that he could not verify the reporter's identity. Yang then hung up and refused to take any subsequent calls.
The reporter went to a foundry next to the village commission building to look for Li Yongqun. When the reporter walked in, the workers pointed to an electric welder and said that was Li Yongqun. But when the reporter approached him, the man denied that he was Li. As the reporter was taking a photo of Li, Li tried to snatch the camera and barked, “I will sue you!” When Li learned the purpose of the reporter's trip, he trembled and resumed his work. The reporter was able to confirm with other villagers that the welder was indeed Li Yongqun.
“It has been almost four years now and we are still thinking about our son. Where are you, my son?” Such are the desperate pleas of Mr. and Mrs. Chi in Dalian City, China.