Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Zhang Jian

Zhang Jian (Chinese: 张謇; 1853–1926), courtesy name Jizhi (季直), sobriquet Se'an (啬庵), was a Chinese entrepreneur, politician and educationist.


Zhang was born in Haimen County, Jiangsu Province in 1853. He achieved the highest score in the 1894 Imperial Examination of the Qing Dynasty and attained the title zhuangyuan. He subsequently served in the Hanlin Academy.

In 1909, Zhang was elected the chairman of Jiangsu provincial parliament. In 1912, Zhang drafted the Abdication Edict for Puyi, the last emperor of China. He was appointed as the Minister of Enterprise of the temporary government of the Republic of China. In 1913, Zhang became the Minister of Industry and Commerce and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Beiyang Government. In 1914, he served as the director of the State Administration of Water Resources.


Zhang founded the first normal school in modern China, Nantong Normal College in 1902. He established the first private museum of China, Nantong Museum in 1905.[1]

The ideal he advocated, "Enterprise as Father, Education as Mother", has a profound impact on Chinese history. In his life, he founded over 20 companies, and over 370 schools, and made a significant contribution to the industrialization and education of modern China. Among the companies he founded, was YiSheng Liquor Making Company, producing YiSheng liquor.