BEIJING, July 23 (UPI) -- Kentucky Fried Chicken is facing a backlash in China after the company used a long-dead Chinese vegetarian hero to promote a chicken sandwich.

Taoists, who are mostly vegetarians, have ridiculed the ad.

The Independent reported that as Western culture has grown, China has been adamant about preserving its own language and culture. Foreign companies are accused of disrespecting Chinese culture as they move into the world's fastest-growing economy, the newspaper said.

The Independent reported that KFC ran an ad that featured an aging Taoist monk proclaiming the new chicken burger to be a "masterpiece." The ad has drawn anger as the monk represents Fu Qingzhu, who, in the 17th century, helped defend China against invaders.

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