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Billionaire Chinese expat returns to China to live with farmer

(People's Daily Online)    13:45, April 13, 2016

What kindles the fire of love? People give many different answers, but a touching love story between a rich Chinese expat in Spain and a woman living in a remote rural village might give us a good idea.

Yao Nanshan and Liu Lijuan met for the first time on July 6, 2013. 57-year-old Yao was so entranced by the beauty of the terraced fields in Yunhe County in east China's Zhejiang province that he missed the last bus back to town. He had no choice but to knock on the door of a stranger's home and ask if he could stay the night.

To Yao’s delight, the house owner, Liu, welcomed him into her home and did not even ask him to pay for accommodation, though Yao offered. Impressed by Liu's generosity, Yao spent a long time talking with Liu that night.

Yao learned about the difficulties that Liu had been through. She married her late husband at the age of 20. After many years of married life, they had to admit that they could not have a child of their own. Then one day in 1987, they discovered a baby girl left on their doorstep and adopted her. One year passed, and they discovered that their daughter was unable to straighten her legs. From then on, the family’s life was centered around medical treatment and hospitals. In 2000 their daughter was diagnosed with osteonecrosis at a hospital in Beijing, and they were told they needed 100,000 yuan to cure her. It was a heavy blow for the poor family, but they never gave up, determined to collect the money from concerned friends and relatives.

The couple eventually gathered the money and their daughter was finally able to walk. However, in the mean time, Liu's husband had become disabled. He broke both his legs falling off a mountain on his way to collect money for their daughter. He refused to seek medical treatment because he didn’t want to spend the money. In 2010, Liu’s husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died one year later, leaving behind a debt of more than 200,000 yuan.

In spite of all her suffering, Liu is still a warm-hearted person without many complaints about life, which made her attractive in the eyes of Yao. Yao left the village in the morning, but he didn’t stop thinking about Liu. One month later, he returned to Yunhe County and told Liu that he had feelings for her. Although Yao was a good choice in Liu’s eyes, Liu did not accept him as a partner. She told Yao that she still had to pay off a big debt and did not want to burden him with her trouble.

At that moment, Yao felt sure that Liu was the woman for him. He proposed that they meet once more before he left for a long trip. During that meeting, Liu got to know that he was a billionaire, which made Liu feel even more confused about her future with him. Yao tried his best to reassure her, even proposing that he pay off Liu’s debts so she could come live with him in Spain. But Liu said no. She insisted on paying the debts herself.

After returning to Spain without Liu, Yao asked his three children to take over managing his businesses abroad. With that taken care of, he went back to China to live together with Liu. Yao helped Liu build a small inn so that she could have more income to pay off her debts. In December of 2015, the couple got married at last.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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