Although the name of journalist Xiang Tai might be unfamiliar to many, she was hailed as an outstanding citizen — a so-called "battlefield rose" — during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945). In disguise she reached enemy-occupied cities where war atrocities were taking place. She was committed to editing and publishing newspapers to urge the Chinese public to rise up against the Japanese invasion.
Xiang was born in east China's Jiangsu Province in 1916 and went to work in a construction firm in Shanghai after high school since her family was too poor to afford further tuition. After joining the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1937, she was actively engaged in campaigns against the Japanese.
Xiang took to singing to make a living in street operas. She taught at a night school exclusively for women and engaged in other activities. When Shanghai was controlled by the Japanese in 1938, she was dispatched by the CPC to Wuhan, working in the China Wartime Committee for the Protection of Children led by Deng Yingchao.
In July 1938, she entered the Wuhan branch of the Xinhua News Agency and worked there as a journalist. Her vivid, informative, and impressive writings greatly boosted the morale of both Chinese soldiers and civilians.
Wuhan fell into Japanese hands that October. Xiang and her colleagues began a retreat to southwest China's Chongqing on a ship which was bombed by a Japanese warplane. Seventy-five people, including 16 journalists from Xinhua News Agency were killed. Xiang was only 22 at the time.
(Source: Jinzhou Television/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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