Male, 20, undergraduate student at the Chinese department of Tianjin Normal University. From: Wuqing County, Tianjin City.
During the 1989 Democracy Movement, Li went with teachers and students from his university to Beijing to support the protests. In the early morning of June 4, when martial law troops were entering Tiananmen Square to clear it, Li was taking photos at the southeastern corner of the Square. He was struck by two bullets fired by a martial law soldier, one of the bullets hitting his liver. Those at the scene took him to Tongren Hospital, where he died. After Li’s body was cremated, his older brother brought his ashes back home to Wuqing County to keep at the South Cinerary Hall. Li’s university gave his family 2,000 yuan [about $536] in compensation, but at the same time expunged his student records.
Li was born into a poor peasant family and was thought to be the brightest among the children. His father died from illness when Li was in high school. To lessen the economic burden on his family, Li gave up his wish to attend Peking University. Instead, upon recommendation by his high school, he was admitted to Tianjin Normal University without taking an admission test. Li’s death was kept from his mother for more than one year. When she finally found out, she was devastated and developed a serious eye disease.
Li’s older brother, Li Haoquan (李浩泉), is a member of the Tiananmen Mothers. His mother, Liu Jianlan (刘建兰), was also a member before she passed away.
Li Haocheng's mother is a tough mother. In fact, at that time, for more than a year, she already had a feeling something had happened to Haocheng; otherwise, why would he not come home for such a long time? But she never showed her suspicion on her face. Instead, she wept in silence in the night when everything was quiet. Later, one of the villagers carelessly let it slip, and she only found out the truth after questioning her children. Even then, she never cried in front of others, especially not her children. Her son told us her eyes have been severely damaged from all the tears she has shed, and her vision has become very blurry.
The old mother, enduring the pain in her heart, let out a long sigh, and said, "My life’s mate died in middle-age, leaving me alone to bring up so many kids. I have suffered through all the hardships, and my children are hardworking and successful. But Haocheng was the only child of our family who went to university. I was hoping to share some happiness with him when I grew old, but he is gone, just like that."