Man who lost his son to become a father again

By Guo Changdong (
Updated: 2011-04-27 14:12
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Yang Qinggui lost his 19-year old son in the deadly magnitude 8.0 Wenchuan earthquake that struck Southwest China's Sichuan province on May 12, 2008. Today, the 47-year-old farmer's wife is expecting a baby next month.

"I am about to be a father again," Yang said, laughing.

Three years ago, the country hotel owner in Bailu, a town two hours drive from Chengdu, mourned the loss of his son and all his property.

"My son came home one day before the quake to give money to his mother to help pay our debts," he said. The hotel owner spent more than 200,000 yuan, part borrowed from relatives, to decorate his hotel, collapsed during the earthquake.

His son was planning to return to his workplace in Chengdu on May 12. "We were waiting for the bus outside our gate. My son saw the houses across the streets falling and realized an earthquake was happening. He shouted 'Mom is inside the house,' and rushed into the house to save his mother," the father recalled. The son pushed his mother to safety, but he was buried beneath the collapsing house.

His 10-year-old daughter survived, but the town's family planning committee encouraged Yang to have another baby after they heard about his misfortune. The town's family planning policy allows families who lose a child in an earthquake to have another child.

The local government also helped rebuild Yang's hotel. With governmental subsidies of about 100,000 yuan, and 300,000 yuan borrowed from his sisters, Yang has built a new three-story building.

The Bailu town is also at work building itself into a tourism destination with a blend of traditional French and Chinese architecture. The government's investment includes payments for decorating building exteriors in a traditional French style.

Yang's hotel will be completed and ready to receive tourists this summer, when many residents in Chengdu are expected to spend their summer in this scenic mountain town.