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How RMB records China’s progress

(People's Daily Overseas New Media)    15:07, March 19, 2019

Photo via Xinhua

As the credit of the nation and bridge of the economy, China’s currency, the RMB, carries not only memories, but also records China’s progress and historical changes, a witness to the great achievements of the nation’s economic and social development.

Located in Shijiazhuang, north China’s Hebei Province, the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) was initiated in a three-story gray building on December 1, 1948, and the first set of RMB was officially issued.

The first set had a total of 12 denominations: 1 yuan, 5 yuan, 10 yuan, 20 yuan, 50 yuan, 100 yuan, 200 yuan, 500 yuan, 1,000 yuan, 5,000 yuan, 10,000 yuan, and 50,000 yuan.

It marked the end of China’s 100-year history of circulating foreign currency, gold, and silver. However, the first set used large denominations, which was inconvenient for circulation. The poor quality of cash paper was also easily damaged.

Therefore, on March 1, 1955, the second set of RMB came out, with a total of 11 denominations: 1 fen (1/100 yuan), 2 fen, 5 fen, 1 jiao (1/10 yuan), 2 jiao, 5 jiao, 1 yuan, 2 yuan, 3 yuan, 5 yuan, and 10 yuan.

After China kicked off its reform and opening-up policy, the PBOC issued the fourth set of RMB on April 27, 1987, with a total of nine denominations: 1 yuan, 2 yuan, 5 yuan, 10 yuan, 50 yuan, and 100 yuan, as well as three kinds of coins: 1 jiao, 2 jiao, and 5 jiao.

In order to meet the requirements of economic development and market currency circulation, the PBOC, on October 1, 1999, issued the fifth set of RMB, with a total of eight denominations: 100 yuan, 50 yuan, 20 yuan, 10 yuan, 5 yuan, and 1 yuan, as well as two kinds of coins: 5 jiao and 1 jiao.

In November 2015, the PBOC issued a new edition of 100 yuan cash, with used a better printing process and newer anti-counterfeiting technology.

Technology improvements could also be seen in the change of banknote printing environment.

The very first batch of the first set of RMB in 1948 was printed on a rainy day and the workers had to hold umbrellas to keep rainwater from hitting the machines. Nowadays, the factory is a much more modern environment with constant temperature and humidity.

“The RMB has played an important role in the construction, reform, and development of China. It also guarantees the development of the national economy and the livelihood of the people. At the same time, it has witnesses the prosperity of China,” said Zhang Hanping, Party chief of the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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