377 cross-Straits families have been reunited through online project: Taiwan Affairs Office
Published: Sep 29, 2022 12:18 AM
Photo: Screenshot of Xiamen TV

A telephone interview with Lailai Photo: Screenshot of Xiamen TV

In the past four and a half years, a total of 377 cross-Taiwan Straits families have been reunited through a public welfare project, said a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. It shows that compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are a family linked by blood, which will not be changed by any outside force, the spokesperson said.

On September 10, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, a girl from Taiwan named Lailai shared her story on social media. She successfully found her ancestral home in a village in Zhangzhou, East China's Fujian Province through an address from more than 300 years ago and with the help of online friends and family.

"The moment I matched [my own name] in the family tree, I was really touched. The thread that had been broken for more than 300 years was instantly connected again," she wrote.

Lailai's story touched a lot of netizens across the Straits, and also shed light on the efforts of other compatriots to find their roots. Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, sent Lailai her congratulations on the magical journey during a news conference on Wednesday.

"On behalf of all villagers, we welcome Lailai's family in Taiwan to return to her hometown to pay respect to their ancestors and trace their roots," Zhu said. "We are also very grateful to the netizens and the villagers for their enthusiastic assistance and hospitality to Lailai, and together we have achieved a moving reunion story."

Zhu noted that it is a fine tradition of the Chinese nation to be prudent and respectful to ancestors.

"Since the long isolation across the Taiwan Straits was broken in 1987, compatriots in Taiwan have been returning to the mainland to search for their roots and relatives," she said, noting that in recent years the Taiwan affairs offices across the mainland cities have been providing various kinds of assistance for Taiwan compatriots to return to their hometown and find their roots.

The once-difficult journey has become more convenient with the help of the internet.

In the past four and a half years, 377 cross-Straits families have had their reunion moment thanks to the online public welfare project, Zhu said.

"The oldest among them is a 100-year-old veteran, who had been out of touch with his family back home for 85 years, while the fastest reunion took only 15 minutes when the family members reunited right after the root-searching message was posted."

Zhu noted that this reveals a basic fact: compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits have the same roots, the same culture, and are a family linked by blood. The common national and cultural identity can withstand the years and no outside force can change it.

"We warmly welcome our compatriots in Taiwan, especially young friends to return to their ancestral homeland to take a walk, take a look, to understand family history, feel the root of the soul and a sense of belonging," she said.