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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 12:42 GMT
China mulls Mao banknote change
Quentin Sommerville
BBC News, Shanghai

A young girl checks her Yuan note against a bigger version in Beijing
In Chinese wallets, Mao still commands a presence
China may remove Mao Zedong's image from its mixed range of banknotes to make room for other heroes, according to the state media.

Delegates to the parliament's advisory body proposed that Deng Xiaoping, architect of China's economic reforms, should grace the new bills.

They also want to see the inclusion of Sun Yat-sen, father of the revolution that toppled the last emperor in 1911.

However the proposal is a long way from becoming law.

Economic growth

There is little evidence these days of the massive Mao Zedong personality cult that once dominated China.

Deng Xiaoping
Deng instituted China's economic reforms

But in Chinese wallets and purses, the former Communist leader still commands a presence, on everything from the smallest to the biggest banknote.

But a number of delegates to an advisory body at the country's parliament - National People's Congress - want to change that.

They are suggesting that on some notes, Mao should go and that Deng Xiaoping and Sun Yat-sen should replace him.

The delegates say China owes its decades of economic growth and rising international status to Deng Xiaoping's reforms of the late 1970s

Those reforms undid much of the collectivisation imposed by Mao.

But the banknotes proposal is a long way from becoming law and it is also unlikely that Deng Xiaoping would have approved.

He ended the mass production of Mao badges and watches and was strongly against any cult of personality.

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