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Testimony of Zhang Yanqiu, widow of Wang Zhiying

January 31, 1999

Wang Zhiying, male, born on July 27, 1954, killed at age 35; he worked at the transmission manufacturing plant at the heavy automobile casting factory of the Beijing Number Three Universal Machine Works; he was killed at midnight on June 3, on an intersection of Zhushikou, by a bullet that ruptured the aorta in his throat; his ashes have been buried at the Changping Foshan Cemetery.

Testimony of Zhang Yanqiu, widow of Wang Zhiying:

My home is at No.3 Xihuying, Zhushikou, in Beijing. My parents' family lives at No.18 Upper Third Lane, Chunshu, in the Xuanwu district. On June 3, 1989, sometime after 10:00 p.m., we went back from my natal family to our own home. When we emerged from the alley through the park in front of my natal family's home, we couldn't get through. Even on the thoroughfare, there were people everywhere, so that we had no choice but to walk home, pushing the bicycles. We had almost reached Zhushikou when we heard gunfire. At first we thought that they were setting off firecrackers, so we just kept walking and looking around. But then the gunfire came closer and closer, and we heard people shout, "They're shooting!" We hurried along the road, which was thronged with people. People everywhere were running. But the army had already reached us. They came from the south and were heading north. These soldiers wore full battle array, with big helmets, and they were running and shooting simultaneously.

As soon as we saw that things looked bad, we sought cover behind a minivan on the corner of a street. But unexpectedly a bullet hit Wang Zhiying. He fell to the ground. I immediately squatted down to support him. Blood was pouring out of his back. I tried to stop it with my hands, but blood was also gushing from his throat (only later did I learn that the bullet had hit the main artery in his throat). I started crying out for help with all my might, but with the intense gunfire all around no voice would have been loud enough, and nobody heard me. The people paid attention only to the shooting troops. I shouted myself hoarse. After a few minutes or so, the troops had passed, and finally some people heeded my desperate screams and gathered around. A large pool of blood had already formed on the ground, and my body was also covered with blood. Somebody said, "Send him to the hospital as quickly as possible!" There was somebody who had a flatbed bicycle, so everybody helped lay Zhiying on the flatbed. But Wang Zhiying no longer showed any reaction. Perhaps he had already stopped breathing at that point.

The people sent him to the nearby Qianmen Hospital, but there they said that there was nothing they could do, and that he should be sent to Tongren Hospital immediately. The people stopped another minivan cab to send him over, but they wouldn't let me get into the car. When the car left, I screamed desperately that I wanted to go along. At that point, two young people on bicycles brought me quickly to Tongren Hospital. But at the overpass at Chongwen Gate, we ran into another army unit that was entering the city, and we didn't dare to go further. We had to wait for them to pass before we could hurry on to Tongren Hospital. The hospital was in complete chaos. When I explained the situation (with the assistance of the others), a doctor surnamed Zhao told me that they had already tried everything they could. Kneeling on the ground I clutched his leg and said, "I beg you! I beg you! He has a seven-year-old daughter!" My hands and body were covered with blood, and now the doctor had blood stains all over as well. He said in tears, "He won't make it. We have tried every possible way to save him, but when he arrived it was already too late. He is dead, he is already in the mortuary." He was the first person dead at Tongren Hospital.

After a while, Doctor Zhao took me to the mortuary for identification. When he showed me the key that he had found on Zhiying's body, my heart broke. I started screaming. The people at the hospital gave me an injection (probably a tranquilizer), and a group of kind people gathered around to comfort me. There was also a young newspaper reporter who took a picture of me. Tongren Hospital took in a lot of people with gunshot wounds. None of them survived. There was also a female college student who was in a severe state of shock. A whole crowd of us sat and cried till the next morning. A young man whose name I still don't know helped me break the news to my family and to my daughter's baby-sitter. When he brought me home on that fourth of June, it was already noon. That is what happened: on the way home on June 3, 1989, I lost forever my dearest Wang Zhiying. A week later he was cremated at Babaoshan. His ashes are buried at Changping Foshan Cemetery.

After my husband died, his parents, my parents and our brothers and sisters were all heartbroken. I didn't eat for a week, I just cried all day. I was in a trance. Every evening I expected him to come home. I kept thinking that he had gone to work, and I thought that he would come back. Surely he would come back! Some nights I was delirious and screamed his name. In one month I lost 22 pounds. My daughter was only seven years old at the time. For a few days we didn't tell her that her father was dead. I told her on the day of the cremation. This sudden shock frightened the life out of her. She couldn't stop crying. Her teachers at school said that in class she would just sit and stare all day, and at home she didn't eat. We would sit together and cry. My mother had already experienced two sudden deaths. My mother-in-law was even more heartbroken. She couldn't eat and she couldn't sleep. After two weeks, my father-in- law suddenly lost his eyesight and had to go to the hospital for an operation. Two years later he passed away due to his excessive grief over the loss of his son. My mother-in-law's high blood pressure and her coronary heart disease also worsened with time to the point where she could not leave the hospital anymore. I cannot describe how much grief my husband's death caused to the entire family.

After Zhiying's death, life became very difficult for me and my daughter. Our income was cut by half. I earn only 66 yuan per month, with a seven-year-old daughter to raise. If I were not so fortunate as to receive regular support from my siblings and in-laws, I wouldn't be able to get by. My daughter is now 17. How much the two of us have suffered in the past ten years, and how miserable our life has been! The disaster that June Fourth has brought on the people will never end!

Zhang Yanqiu




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