Army veteran Wang Qi, 77, arrived at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport at 6 p.m. on Saturday. He was welcomed by more than 60 relatives spanning four generations, according to Shanghaiist
Qi was caught by cameras belting, “I’m finally home!” as he reconnected with siblings.
Working as a surveyor during the Sino-Indian war in 1963, Qi was lost and crossed the Indian border by mistake
. He was seized by Indian authorities and sent to different jails years before his release in 1969.
Qi was identified in India as Raj Bahadur. He eventually married a local woman and built his own family.
Why he took 54 years before coming home is not exactly known, but he was reportedly denied Indian citizenship and official documents. In addition, he was prohibited to return to China.
He was, however, granted a Chinese passport in 2013. India also gave him a one-year visa recently.
Before coming home, Qi spoke with his 82-year-old brother Wang Zhiyuan during an interview with the BBC
— the first time in a very long while.
Qi will return to Xuezhai, his hometown village in Shaanxi Province, on Monday. There, he is set to pay respects to his deceased mother and partake in his favorite homemade noodles prepared by locals.
Whether Qi returns to India for his family or settles in China is yet to be seen.