After 54 years, Chinese soldier Wang Qi arrives in Beijing from India

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After 54 years, Chinese soldier Wang Qi arrives in Beijing from India

CCTV and XInhua have covered Wang's every move since his feted arrival.

He finally settled at Tirodi in Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district and raised a family after marrying an Indian woman.

On Monday, Wang is scheduled to finally return to his remote home village of Xuezhai in rural Shaanxi province and visit his mother's tomb to pay his respects.

Until Saturday, Feb 11, 2017.

A tearful homecoming greeted Wang upon his return.

He flew to China with his wife Sushila, their son Vishnu and two other children.

"My father faced a lot of hardships, wanting to go to China. Two of our mission officials are also traveling with Wang Qi and family to their hometown".

He had joined Chinese People's Liberation Army in 1960 and was tasked with building roads for the army. I was exhausted and hungry. "The only thing I'm sad about is he was waiting for so long to see his mother, but its a source of sadness for our family that she was not alive to see this", Vishnu said. "They handed me over to the Indian army", he was quoted saying.

Now fondly called Cheeni Seth in MP's Tirodi village, he spends his days at a small shop, barely 500m from where Wang lives.

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His undefined legal status made life hard for Wang, however.

"He was an honest man". After graduating in commerce, David left to work at Guangzhou (China) five years ago. His family lived in utter poverty.

Due to uncertainty about his legal status, it is unclear whether he is a prisoner of war. He was denied Indian citizenship or documents, making it impossible to buy land and hard to hold a job.

Chinese authorities began intense efforts to bring Wang to China after the local media picked up an interview BBC had with him. The military sentenced him in to jail for seven years for "espionage" at a time when tensions still ran high.

A non-combatant, he was captured during the Sino-Indian war 1962.

Wang was given a Chinese passport by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi in 2013.

While the Chinese government has provided visas for his family to visit China, India has provided a re-entry visa for Wang to return back if he chooses to. The ministry of foreign affairs had made good arrangements for him.

It is not clear if Mr Wang plans to return to India. His wife Susila remains there, as she was sick and had been unable to travel with him. But that may change as early as Sunday, India Today reports. He is also eager to taste the local Shaanxi noodles, a famous specialty of the province.

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