WANG Yifei (王一飞)

Male, 31, an employee at Beijing Zhongguancun Datong Company. From: Beijing.

During the 1989 Democracy Movement, Wang and his wife often went together to Tiananmen Square to support the students. On the evening of June 3, 1989, they left home together. On their way, Wang got worried that their daughter would be afraid at home and urged his wife to turn back. Not far from Muxidi, at the entrance of one of the departments of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wang was shot in the chest, the bullet hitting his left lung. On June 4, his family retrieved his body from Fuxing Hospital.

Wang’s wife worked as a teacher at Zhongguancu No. 2 Elementary School. Their daughter was only five years old.

Wang Yifei
Ding Zilin, of the Tiananmen Mothers, wrote in an essay in 2004:

After his son was killed, he joined the “investigation unit.” In order to show “loyalty to the party and the state,” he did self-criticism in meetings big and small, repeatedly saying: "I did not educate my son well." People thought his son was still little, but in fact his son was already in his 30s.

In the period that followed, I found family members of several June Fourth victims. Among them was a widow with the surname of Zhang, who happened to live near my school and was a teacher in a primary school.

This widow was very open, with even a little feistiness in her candor. She told me that her husband Wang Yifei once worked at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and, before he died, worked for a company in Zhongguancun in Beijing. That year, during the student protests, she and her husband often went to Tiananmen as they felt that the students’ actions were justified, and that they should show their solidarity. On the night of June 3, she and her husband left home for Muxidi. Halfway, her husband was worried that their daughter would be afraid at home and persuaded her to go home. Unimaginably, this became the moment she and her husband parted forever. The young man was shot and killed in Muxidi, not far from the entrance to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. After her husband's death, she raised her young daughter on her own modest salary as a primary school teacher. Life was hard, but she never bowed to fate.

The first time we met, she told me about this incident. Their neighbor of many years suddenly changed attitude towards them since her husband's death, often bullying mother and daughter. Whenever there was any minor disagreement, the neighbor would say malicious things to them and insult her husband as someone who died from “eating a gun.” On one occasion, she could no longer bear it and gave her neighbor a hard punch, producing a crooked nose. The vicious neighbor then went to court and forced her to fight a lawsuit. As the neighbor had money and power, she lost and had to pay quite a large sum as compensation for medical expenses. Still, she had no regrets, saying that she defended her husband's honor and vented her grievance.

From what I learned from Ms. Zhang, I knew that her father-in-law had a different side to him deep down. This deputy secretary of the Discipline Commission was a "good cadre" and "good party member" of the Communist Party in his work unit. But at home, he was always silent, with his head bowed. For many years, he could not bear to move his son's ashes to the cemetery for burial, but instead stored them at home. Later, when the elderly couple both retired, he made arrangements with his daughter-in-law to bury their ashes with his son’s in their ancestral hometown in Shanxi Province.

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