Hostages of the State

Had it ended differently, Sun Zhigang's life might have been a testament to his country's progress. The 27-year-old carpenter's son had worked his way out of a remote village in China's central Hubei province to a university in the provincial capital of Wuhan. He graduated with an arts degree, then later moved to Guangzhou, landing a job as a graphic designer and the chance to make a home in new China's glittering boomtown. But three weeks into his new life, Sun's luck ran out. On his way to an Internet café, he was stopped by police and asked for his ID....

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