Self-trained lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s account comes from
this “other China.”His is a tale of a Communist Party
member who came from the poorest groups of Chinese
society.He lost his father as a child and was dependent
on the work of hismother, growing up in the hinterland
of China in the 1960s and 70s in themidst of
widespread poverty and deprivation. But Gao, through
hard work and dedication, was to enjoy at least some
education, and during a period of work in Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region, discovered a talent for
law.He qualified as a lawyer in the 1990s, and started
practicing on some of themost difficult, sensitive cases.
His inspiration, originally, was the sight of injustices
perpetrated in the work place where he was based in his

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