Despite the Xi Jinping leadership’s lip service to “Chinese-style rule by law,” it has put together a legal grid comprising draconian legislations aimed at entrapping individuals and emasculating NGOs who dare challenge Beijing’s monopoly of power. This chapter looks at how just 400-odd human rights attorneys have invoked international norms of rule of law to defend disadvantaged social sectors ranging from house church worshippers to victims of land seizure. Deemed by Western scholars as a viable opposition force in monolithic China, these self-sacrificing attorneys realize that they can put pressure on the party to respect civil rights as enshrined in the Chinese Constitution if concepts of equality and judicial independence can be popularized among members of the nascent civil society. The latter have, in turn, been convinced by the pitiless ways in which upright lawyers are being tortured and jailed that Beijing is cynically using imperial-style “stern laws and harsh punishments” to crush all opposition. Although the rights attorneys seem outgunned by a quasi-police-state apparatus, the support they have garnered from ordinary citizens as well as global human rights watchdogs shows that the results of the asymmetrical warfare are far from certain.