CHINA finds over 2,600 missing children in a search campaign. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security reported the result of a search campaign for missing children that have found 2,609 minors, including Guo Xinzhen, a child kidnapped in 1997 whose father undertook a nationwide search that eventually inspired a film in 2015.
The campaign called Reunion, launched at the end of 2020, relies on a DNA base to reunite missing or abducted minors with their families, as reported by Diario de Sevilla. According to the Ministry, the discovery of these minors, many already adults because their case has dragged on for years, has led to the arrest of 372 suspects of kidnapping and trafficking. DNA was instrumental in finding Guo Xinzhen in central Henan province and identifying him as Guo Gangtang’s son.
Guo Xinzhen was abducted at the age of two and a half on September 21, 1997, while playing with strangers outside his home in Shandong province, adjacent to Henan. His father, Guo Gangtang, began a search throughout China. According to the description on his personal website, Guo Gangtang travelled “more than 500,000 kilometres across twenty provinces in twenty years on ten motorcycles” that broke down on the way. The father’s story became popular and in 2015 the film Lost and Love was released, starring Hong Kong star Andy Lau and based on his experiences. After finding Guo Xinzhen, the Police arrested two people suspected of his abduction 24 years ago, a crime they allegedly committed in the hope of selling the minor.
Due to the knowledge of the case, Guo Xinzhen’s finding has been widely commented on across Chinese social media networks. On the Weibo social network, messages of congratulations to the father but also requests for harsh punishment for the kidnappers. Child abduction has been a persistent social problem for decades in China. Technologies such as DNA analysis or facial recognition have helped in recent years to solve numerous cases that had been stuck in limbo for years.