By Daily Mail Reporter
Dismal: Cai Changqing is chained in a shabby shelter every day - and it's claimed that it's for his own good
This 12-year-old Chinese boy has been chained up by his uncle for the past two years.
It’s claimed that this is for his own safety because he’s mentally handicapped – but most people will find these images truly shocking.
Cai Changqing, from Erlongshan village in Harbin, north-east China's Heilongjiang Province, is shackled each day to a shabby shelter outside his uncle's home.
Squalor: Cai Changqingis plays in the dirty yard with a dog
The uncle, Cai Quan comments: ‘The kid can't speak at all. Originally his parents thought he would speak late, but later they found he is mentally handicapped.’
According to Quan he has to chain his nephew up because, otherwise, he runs away.
In 2009 Changqing ran out into the road in the city and was severely injured after being run over by a van.
Quan was left to care for Changqing after the boy's mother died and his father was left paralysed from an accident.
Heartbreaking: Cai Changqing ran off in 2009 and was hit by a van, which his uncle uses as a reason to chain him up
Following the van accident Changqing started to chain his nephew up each day, using a 16ft-long length of iron chain wrapped around the youngster's waist.
His treatment brings to mind other instances of cruelty to children in China.
Last December pictures emerged of 12-year-old twins Li Luqin and Li Shuangqin tied up by their father Li Wancheng in Yunnan Province.
He began binding them ten years ago for fear they would hurt themselves.
Twins Li Luqin and Li Shuangqin sit slumped after being tied up by their father Li Wancheng in Yunnan Province
The family currently lives along the roadside in China’s Yunnan Province. The father is trying to save enough money to get medical treatment for the girls.
He is adamant his daughters are not safe to be allowed to roam and the pair have to make do with a life that involves being tied to a fence or a tree – or to each other – every day.
Passers-by often react angrily as they watch the young girls trapped in their confines, with the ropes cutting into their wrists as they try to wriggle free.
‘When they were two they were found to be not normal,’ says Wancheng. He hopes they can be "cured" once he pays for them to be seen by a doctor, but says: ‘We only have 1000 Yuan (£100) of savings. We don’t have extra.’
Another shocking case that came to light last year was that of a two-year-old boy, Cheng Jingdan, who was pictured chained to a lamp post to stop him getting away while his father worked as a rickshaw driver and his handicapped mother scavenged through rubbish.
Jingdan has since become a pupil at a nursery in the Chinese capital Beijing thanks to the generosity of those who read about his plight.