He was previously a researcher at CPC Central Party Literature Research Center, where he wrote the official biographies of Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong after the Cultural Revolution. Gao was dismissed from his position following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, where he sympathized with the pro-democracy student movement. He emigrated to the United States in 1993, where he wrote Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary in 2007.
As a supporter of democracy in China, Gao believed that the Tiananmen Square protests exposed the Chinese Communist government's "illegitimacy" in governing China, and the current economic system is responsible for China's social ills.
- Zhou Enlai: A Tragic Hero? Gao Wenqian talks about his new book at the Center for Chinese Studies
- Saint and Sinner By Peter Ritter
- Venkatesan Vembu, "Rubble rousing," Daily News & Analysis, November 9, 2009.