Female, 20, undergraduate student studying international communist movements in the political science department of Renmin University of China. From: Beijing.
Shortly after 11:00 p.m. on June 3, 1989, Zhang and her elder brother, sister-in-law, and others were returning from a relative’s home in Zhushikou. At Qianmen, they were stopped by martial law troops and separated. Zhang and her sister-in-law hid behind a bush on the west side of Qianmen. A bullet hit her on the left side of the chest, puncturing her aorta and piercing her back. She was taken to the city emergency center and died in the early hours of June 4. Her remains are buried at the Taiziyu Public Cemetery in Beijing.
Zhang’s father, Zhang Yaozu (张耀祖), and mother, Wang Peijing (王培靖), were both members of the Tiananmen Mothers before they passed away.
I finally found [Zhang Xianghong’s family], but it had been an entire four years after the calamity. Zhang’s parents were both retired elderly people. Her mother had a vacant look in her eyes, her hair almost fully white. She had been a kindergarten teacher all her life, and all the children who were under her care had grown up and flown from their nests. But her most precious youngest daughter left her forever before finishing university. Zhang’s father was a volunteer soldier who fought in the Korean War in the 1950s. This “most beloved” man [a phrase popularized in the 1950s to refer to PLA soldiers] could never have imagined his own daughter would die at the hands of his “comrades” who fought under the same flag.
Zhang’s mother stated, again and again, that her daughter had always been an honest, obedient child, who never crossed the line. She had good grades and was well-behaved. That night, the old mother spoke extremely fast when she told me this, almost without thinking, never pausing. Yet on the massacre and the blood debt it caused, she never spoke a word, let alone condemned it. I thought, since her daughter’s death, she must have said the same things when she was dealing with her daughter’s school, the work units of her husband and herself, and people in the streets and neighbors and friends. The chill and fear created by the June Fourth massacre had stunned this elderly couple.