Princess Pingyang

Born in 600 A.D., in Taiyuan, China, Pingyang was the third daughter of Li Yuan, an influential Sui Dynasty military commander. During Pingyang’s young life Yangdi, a harsh and unfair ruler, was the emperor of China. As a teenager Pingyang married Chai Shao, the...

Qian Hongyan

Born in 1996, Qian lost both her legs in a car accident at the age of four. In a later interview with China Daily, she stated, “I just remember that when I woke up, my legs felt very cold. I said, ‘Mum, put my shoes on for me,’ but my mum didn’t say anything. Her...

Wencheng Li

Born in Chang’an (now Xi’an, Shaanxi Province) in around 628, the life of Princess Wencheng Li holds major cultural significance for both Chinese and Tibetan society. Her name roughly translates to “Princess Civilizer.” Born into a branch of the Tang Dynasty royal...

Xu Xiujuan (1964-1987)

In September 1987, a pair of swans broke free and flew away while Xiujuan was bathing them. Though very ill at the time, she went looking for them. When she heard fluting swan calls from the opposite of a river, she waded through the water toward them. The two birds were soon found, but Xiujuan went missing. Her body was later retrieved from the river. Unfortunately she drowned from exhaustion in her search and came to be known as China’s first environmental protection martyr. Near her grave in the reserve, a memorial hall has been built to tell her heroic story to visitors.

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