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CHINA DITCHES MAO TO PUT OLYMPICS ON NEW BANKNOTE
Britain's The Independent was one of a number of publications noting a landmark in Chinese banknote design - Chairman Mao will not appear on a new note commemorating the 2008 Olympics. -EditorChina's greatest Communist icon, Chairman Mao Zedong, will be dropped from new 10 yuan (75p) banknotes to mark the Olympics, which start a month from today.
The Great Helmsman will be replaced on the six million new notes by the National Stadium, or Bird's Nest, which is more in keeping with the image of progress and prosperity that China is trying to show as the Games approach.
Despite the ravages of the Cultural Revolution and the disastrous social agricultural reform known as the Great Leap Forward, Mao is still an icon in China, considered by the Communist Party to be "70 per cent good, 30 per cent bad". His portrait still gazes out over Tiananmen Square in central Beijing.
During Mao's rule from the 1949 revolution that swept the Communists to power until his death in 1976, banknotes featured more traditional socialist realist fare – determined workers, muscled farmers, and clear evidence of China's successful modernisation such as factories or rustic classical scenes.
He first appeared on the banknote in 1990, alongside three other iconic leaders, and his face still adorns all modern banknotes in China.
To read the complete article, see: China ditches Mao to put Olympics on new banknote (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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