After traveling 500,000 kilometers across China on a motorcycle, Qiao Gangtang found his long-lost son in Henan Province.
After 24 years of searching, a Chinese man reunited with his kidnapped son. He rode a motorcycle across 500,000 kilometers of China to track down clues to the boy’s possible whereabouts.
When Guo Gangtang’s son was abducted in front of his home in eastern Shandong Province, he was only two years old and five months old, and he was playing in an unattended place.
The Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday that human traffickers snatched the boy and sold it to a family in central China.
In the 1980s, China implemented a strict one-child policy, kidnapping and trafficking in children became common in China, and the cultural obsession with sons fueled the demand for abducted boys.
After years of searching, the police told Guo on Sunday that a DNA test confirmed that a 26-year-old teacher living in central Henan Province was his long-lost son.
On Tuesday, a photo released by the Ministry of Public Security showed Guo sobbing in the palm of his hand during the reunion event, while his wife hugged their son Guo Zhen.
“Now that the child is found, everything in the future can only be happiness,” Guo said in tears in a video released by the official China News Service.
After his son was kidnapped in 1997, Guo, who was 27 years old, quit his job and rode a motorcycle across the country, with a flag bearing his son’s photo on the back of the car.
His 500,000-kilometer (310,000-mile) expedition—including fighting highway bandits, sleeping under a bridge, and even begging when his money ran out—inspired the 2014 Chinese blockbuster “Lost and Love”.
Over the years, Guo has helped seven other families find their missing children and raised their awareness of child trafficking-a topic that is still taboo in China.
Guo told reporters that he had been to the city where his son grew up earlier to help another father find the kidnapped boy.
According to the official media “Global Times”, two suspects in connection with the case have been arrested. The police did not provide detailed information about the family that bought Guo’s son.
The news of the high-profile reunion evoked more than 9 million views on social media.
“Parents will never give up their children! Guo’s struggle reflects the depth of his father’s love,” one user wrote on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
The police said that since launching the DNA database of missing family members in 2016, they have helped more than 2,600 people kidnapped during childhood—some more than 60 years ago—find their biological parents.