One of China’s top businessmen was sentenced this week to 18 years in prison for fraud, bribery, and forgery—just hours before he was to launch a capitalist experiment in North Korea. Billionaire Yang Bin was a Chinese Horatio Alger story. Orphaned as a youngster, he joined the navy to travel and eventually became a Dutch citizen. He returned to China in the 1990s and amassed a fortune in the orchid trade. Last year, the North Korean government asked Yang to oversee an experimental free-trade zone along the Chinese border, but that project apparently did not have the approval of the Chinese government. With Yang in jail, the free-trade zone is now on hold.
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