It was during that dark period that Fang Lizhi married Li Shuxian, a formal classmate at Peking University who had also been expelled from the Party. The couple survived living and laboring in separate countryside locations and gave birth to two sons during that time.
After the Culture Revolution, Fang Lizhi was able to return to academia and by mid-1980s he had become a professor and Vice President of the University of Science and Technology of China in Anhui Province. It was there he launched a fruitful career as a pioneer researching relativistic cosmology in China. But he gained great fame by giving inspiring speeches in many universities advocating liberty, democracy, and human rights, using western examples he had observed from his frequent travels abroad. Audiotapes of his speech were widely copied and passed around in student dorm rooms. At that time, he called for young students to join the Communist Party and "reform it from within."
Once the hunger strike started, the movement went out of control, and I suspected that the government would use military means to end it. These students just did not understand. They grew up in the generation after the Cultural Revolution and had never seen the Party kill people on a large scale. The students loved that line in L'Intenernationale about this being the final struggle, but I told those who came to my home that this was most definitely not the final struggle. They felt that if they just carried this struggle through, they would be victorious. I didn't think so.
They stayed in the Embassy for about a year while the China and US were engaged in a diplomatic standoff. Fang Lizhi managed to continue his scientific research there and published a paper bearing the diplomatic address. They eventually were allowed to leave China and reached US by way of UK.