Sun Bin, right, who was abuducted in 1991 at the age of 4, kneels down and hugs his father Sun Youhong after they reunited in an office at the Chengdu Public Security Bureau in Chengdu city, southwest China
Sun Bin, right, who was abuducted in 1991 at the age of 4, kneels down and hugs his father Sun Youhong after they reunited in an office at the Chengdu Public Security Bureau in Chengdu city, southwest China's Sichuan province, 13 January 2015. Tears were flowing aplenty on Tuesday (13 January 2015), when a man from Sichuan, abducted when he was only four years old, finally became reacquainted with his father, 24 years later. Back in 1991, the then-toddler Sun Bin was whisked away by an abductor from a food market in Chengdu, Sichuan, where his father was working as a vendor, selling vegetables. He was eventually taken by the captor to Xuzhou in east China's Jiangsu province, reports Chinese news portal NetEase. At the age of 28, and eager to see his family again, Sun solicited the help of the public security bureau, who managed to locate his father, and helped set up a reunion. On meeting his father, Sun was reduced to tears as the two of them embraced. After the tears began to dry up, Sun's father Sun Youhong revealed some photographs that had been taken not long before the child was abducted. "During mid-autumn festival, when he was four years and 15 days old, we took photos of him," he told reporters, while showing them a picture of Sun, Sun's mother, and him. Sun was kidnapped only four days later, he added. After the abduction, the parents began searching the surrounding areas and putting up notices. Sun Youhong also told reporters about how his wife traveled far and wide, with unsuccessful visits to Chongqing, Ganzi, and Henan. The father spoke of the agonizing search, "as long as we had a sign, we went." He added that his wife had numerous blackouts throughout. Sun's mother passed away in 2012, leaving no chance for the complete reunion of the family. However, he did have the opportunity to meet his younger sister for the first time. She was born in 1994, about three years after Sun was abducted.(Imaginechina via AP Images)
PHOTO: Imaginechina via AP Images
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Trafficked boy reunited with family after 24 years

Story highlights

Chinese man who disappeared in alleged abduction as a child was reunited with his father

Sun Bin's mother died "constantly murmuring" his name, father says

Child trafficking is a major business in China

(CNN) —  

A Chinese man has been reunited with his father 24 years after he was abducted as a toddler from a vegetable market.

In 1991, 4-year-old Sun Bin was taken by child traffickers from his hometown in Sichuan province and sold to a family thousands of miles away, in Jiangsu province on the country’s eastern coast, Chinese state media reported.

Sun Bin when he was four with his father.
Sun Bin when he was four with his father.
PHOTO: Imaginechina via AP Images

On Tuesday, Sun was finally reacquainted with his 60-year-old father, Sun Youhong, and a younger sister he had never met. The moment was captured in a moving series of photographs.

“I was happy. I was grateful,” the father said. “But I was also bitter.”

Child trafficking is still a major business in China, as traffickers seek to profit off a growing demand for healthy babies from potential adoptive parents in China and elsewhere.

Boys, prized because they carry on the family line, are in great demand and fetch higher prices.

Earlier this week, Chinese police said they had rescued 37 newborn babies after busting a trafficking ring that sold the babies for up $13,000 each.

The reunion Tuesday took place at a police station in Chengdu. When a police officer introduced Sun Bin to his father, the 28-year-old dropped to his knees and wept in his father’s embrace.

“You’re a man. Don’t cry,” said the elder Sun, according to a report released by the state news agency Xinhua.

The Search

Sun Bin was just a toddler when he disappeared at a vegetable market in 1991. Sun Youhong said that he and his wife had dropped everything to search for him.

He said they posted search notices around the area, and Sun Bin’s mother traveled to other cities in Sichuan and neighboring provinces.

Sun Bin’s mother was diagnosed with cancer in 1996 and died in 2011.

“To find our son had been my wife’s biggest wish in life,” Sun Youhong told Xinhua earlier this week. “And days before she passed away she was constantly murmuring our son’s name.”

Sun Bin told Chinese journalists he had always thought he was adopted but he didn’t know where his original home was.

He said he had never asked his adoptive parents how he ended up with them.

As he grew older, he said his wish to find his own family had become stronger and stronger. He left a DNA sample with a local police station in Jiangsu in October 2014 and recently received a phone call saying that a match had been found.

The family also received assistance from a Chinese web site called “Baby Come Home,” which helps reunite separated relatives.

The elder Sun said he was disappointed to learn that his missing child had been put to work as an electrician when he was still a teenager.

“I would have kept my son in school at the age of 15,” he said.

In a phone interview with CNN, the father accused his son’s adoptive parents of breaking the law, for accepting a kidnapped child.

“But as long as my son comes back to live with me, I won’t press charges against them,” he added.

Sun Bin has yet to make a decision of whether he will leave the adoptive coastal town where he was raised. For now he is sleeping for the first time in 24 years in the home of his biological father.

Chinese police rescue 37 babies in trafficking bust

CNN intern Sherry Fei Ju in Beijing contributed to this report