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Policewoman's job is to reunite families

Policewoman's job is to reunite families

Updated: 2012-03-09 07:41

By Cao Yin in Baise, Guangxi (China Daily)

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Pan Qi's name is often mentioned when local police talk about human-trafficking cases in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

The 38-year-old woman is regarded as an indispensable bridge between Chinese police and their Vietnamese counterparts when the two countries work together to combat human trafficking.

"Since she joined our anti-human-trafficking group in 2006, she is really a bridge for Chinese and Vietnamese cooperation," said Huang Hongdong, one of the police officers.

Policewoman's job is to reunite families

Pan Qi, a policewoman in Guangxi. [Photo/China Daily]

Pan blushed and bowed her head after hearing her colleagues' high praise for her.

"I'm just ordinary and do what a police officer should do," said Pan, who graduated from Guangxi University for Nationalities in 1996 and majored in Vietnamese.

As a member of the group dealing with a large cross-border human trafficking case in July, in which 89 infants were rescued, Pan's task was to question Vietnamese suspects and help other police officers with translation.

In the case in July, police in Guangxi rescued 12 kidnapped children, including eight Vietnamese infants, and arrested 35 traffickers, nine of whom were Vietnamese.

"The questioning was hard to develop at first, because the Vietnamese suspects didn't cooperate and often hid their real meaning behind their sentences," Pan said.

Pan, who is from Guilin city of Guangxi, used to be responsible for communicating with Vietnamese police officers in Pingxiang, a small city in the region next to Vietnam.

"My negotiating experience was based on many conferences between the two countries," she said. "But at first, I didn't understand Vietnamese police's professional words, and I was also nervous about translating our country's opinions."

The embarrassment encouraged Pan to build her vocabulary and study how to negotiate.

"I'm a woman who never gives up, and I like challenging myself," she said.

Pan told China Daily she never imagined she could become a police officer, but she said her current work has fulfilled her simple dream of widely applying what she learned.

"I thought my job was just translation, but one case changed my mind."

In 2009, Pan published information on several children through the media to find their parents, and she soon received a mother's call from Hechi city of Guangxi. The mother said one of the kidnapped children who were rescued resembled her missing son.

"I was excited and told the mother to collect her blood sample," Pan said. "Through a DNA comparison, I found the kidnapped boy was that woman's son."

When the mother came to pick up the little boy, Pan's office was filled with the sound of weeping.

"I also cried bitterly as the mother hugged her son," said the policewoman, who has an 8-year-old daughter.

Pan said it was that moment that she realized the significance of her work. Before, she, like many people, thought police officers were serious and dispassionate, but after participating in anti-human trafficking, Pan realized each case filled her with emotion.

"I'm not a simple translator or police officer. I'm the hope for those poor families that have lost kids," she said firmly as tears welled up in her eyes. "If we can rescue more children, more families will not wait a long time for a reunion."

The interview with Pan on Wednesday was interrupted by four phone calls. Pan said such busy work also affected her daily life.

"I feel guilty about my daughter. In the first year after she was born, I seldom came back home and we even saw each other only once a year," Pan said disjointedly and bowed her head again to wipe away her tears.

Immediately, however, Pan smiled again, saying that is her work, "which not only needs logical analysis and professional interpretation during the negotiations, but is also imbued with emotions."

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