Is this a meaningful sign of China’s impending reformation or merely cosmetic?
China’s new Olympic-inspired 10 yuan notes show no sign of former Communist leader and all-around bad guy Mao Zedong. Mao is replaced on the currency by, among other things, the new Beijing National Stadium (aka the “Bird’s Nest”), a scantily-clad (if at all clad) discus thrower, and the Beijing 2008 Olympics logo.
Lest you think this marks a definitive change in China’s attitude, note that “only” 6 million of these are being printed. In a country of over a billion people, these notes may be more like collectors’ items than widely-traded currency.