China has a new capitalist role model, and he's not Jack Ma

The lauding of Zhang Jian as a patriotic entrepreneur and philanthropist is revealing of the Communist Party’s current preoccupations.

The ways that the Chinese Communist Party has portrayed pioneering 19th-century capitalist Zhang Jian over the years say as much about the communists as they do about Zhang, says the writer. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA

Zhang Jian, a pioneering 19th-century capitalist, has been brought back to life many times by the Chinese Communist party since his death in 1926, depending on its propaganda needs.

But his latest reincarnation, as a patriotic nation builder and philanthropist, marks his highest profile reappearance yet, championed by no less a communist puritan than President Xi Jinping.

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