Most questions cannot be answered in a specific way, especially on unique items like antique chinese chests. Without actually seeing your piece, it would be impossible to diagnose the problem, let alone tell you how to fix it, assuming you know how to do what is suggested. In addition, a quality repair job is really what you want if it is for an antique that you care about as much as you say. Doing it yourself may or may not be a good idea.
I can suggest this: Call at least 3 antique dealers in your area and get a list of the best 3 furniture repair-restoration shops in your town. Call each of them up and tell them what you have and what you think is wrong. Depending upon the way they treat you on the phone, visit the shop that makes you feel the best about them, and get an estimate.
Then you can decide how valuable the piece is to you, and whether or not you want it fixed.