Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Modernizing China's Currency

China's currency, the renminbi (people's money), has been largely unchanged since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.  It is issued in denominations of yuan (dollars), jiao, and fen (pennies).  It has been printed in two designs, the second with Mao Zedong's portrait on the obverse side and various scenes of China on the reverse.

Deng Xiaoping is the great mastermind of China's post-Mao economic reforms, which have transformed China from a backward to a modern country in three decades with a large and growing middle class.

To honor Deng, the People's Bank of China (China's central bank) should issue a new bank note denominated as 200 yuan (about $30) or 500 yuan (about $75).  Deng's portrait should appear on the obverse side with a picture of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone on the reverse.  This would be especially timely given the 30th anniversary of the Shenzhen SEZ, an important step kicking off China's modernization, celebrated in early September 2010.

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