CHINA — Liu Yusheng, a 76-year-old man from Shanghai, China, abandoned his wife and daughter and illegally immigrated to the United States to work as an illegal immigrant for 32 years.
He encountered a kind person who helped him return to China smoothly, but Chinese media reported that upon returning to his hometown, he allegedly demanded that his wife and daughter split their million RMB property with him, igniting the anger of Chinese netizens.
However, Liu has denied the allegation.
According to Chinese media reports, Liu believed deeply – since he was young – that as long as he could fly to the United States, he could become successful.
In 1990, he abandoned his 30-year-old wife and 8-year-old daughter and illegally immigrated to the United States with his brother.
However, three years later, his passport was confiscated, Liu became an illegal immigrant and could only work as an illegal labourer and wander the streets.
His brother returned to China earlier because he couldn’t bear it, but Liu still believed that he would one day obtain a “special amnesty” from the US government, obtain local residency, and receive subsidies.
In a Chinese media interview, Liu repeatedly claimed that he had not contacted his family since arriving in the US because his money and passport were stolen.
His wife had no choice but to work hard alone and support the family, raising their daughter alone.
In 2022, a member of the Association of Fellow Shanghainese in the US encountered Liu wandering on the street and, sympathizing with his desire to return home, helped him.
It was reported that the association raised US$15,000 in donations on a crowdfunding website and used the money to help Liu reapply for a Chinese passport at the Chinese Consulate in New York, purchase a plane ticket, and pay for food and lodging.
However, because it was mid-April 2022, China’s external epidemic policies were very strict, and Liu found it difficult to return to China. He did not return until November of the same year.
Upon arriving in Shanghai, he did not know the whereabouts or contact information of his wife and daughter and ended up sleeping in a park.
The member of the association again weighed in and arranged for a friend in Shanghai to contact Liu’s family on his behalf.
Finally, after posting notices in newspapers, broadcasting on television to find family members, and inquiring at Liu’s workplace 32 years ago, they were able to find his wife and daughter’s contact information.
Wife and daughter refused to meet Liu
However, his wife and daughter refused to meet him or even speak to him.
His son-in-law spoke up and made it clear that after Liu had abandoned his wife and daughter for 32 years, they would not meet with him under any circumstances.
“You have been away from home for many years. You have always ignored your family. So our family will also treat you as nonexistent. We won’t be reunited with you.”
According to a Chinese independent-media 行者东谈西说, Liu rented a room with a co-tenant when he went back to Shanghai.
Liu initially claimed that he had suffered a lot in the United States and that he would take good care of his wife and daughter when he returned to China so that they would not suffer.
He further claimed that his wife had a heart condition, and he hoped to apologize to his wife and daughter in person and make amends for his past mistakes.
He frequently made statements on social media and posted videos online, pretending to be aggrieved, but he was unable to win back his wife’s heart.
However, some media reported that Liu allegedly issued an ultimatum to his wife and daughter, demanding to split their property in half. He threatened to go to court if his wife did not agree.
According to an article on ifeng(凤凰网), Liu learned that before he left China for the United States 32 years ago, his workplace had given him a set of houses, and later, the government gave him another set of large houses after the original houses were demolished.
According to today’s property prices in Shanghai, these houses were worth millions of RMB.
Liu denied allegations, says he had never thought of claiming wife’s property
In an interview posted on Douyin, Liu denied the allegation and felt wronged by the rumours. He stated that he had never thought of asserting rights on the property.
“If they say I’m put claim over the house, then I’m inhuman. I’ve never said that. I even have to send her money.”
Liu stated that the media reports are misleading, and that they should seek the truth by verifying with him directly.
It is not known if Liu and his wife’s marriage status is still valid. According to Chinese law, the marital property and debts of husband and wife shall be jointly owned by both parties before divorce, and shall be divided 50/50 each after divorce.
Some Chinese netizens commented:
“This kind of old man will never have a good life no matter what country he is in! His wife and his brother can’t find him! Only those who are ungrateful will not contact each other for 30 years.”
“When you were young, you ignored your family and didn’t contact them. Now you ask them to take care of you?”
“pitiful and hateful”
Some netizens advised Liu should leave his wife and daughter in peace, “not disturbing the peaceful life of your wife and daughter is the greatest kindness in your life”.