It looks like Chairman Mao is finally bowing to the pressure of capitalism. At least, that’s the case for his private plane. The aircraft, which has been displayed in front of a shopping mall in Zhuhai, may be dismantled because it is apparently getting in the way of the mall’s economic development.
The plane, bought by Wang Zhilei in the 1990s, attracted a lot of tourists when it was first displayed in front of his shopping mall. It has since helped turn Wang’s mall into a local tourist site. But as Wang’s business expanded, the plane became more of a nuisance, taking up valuable parking space from his customers.
The plane was first offered for sale in 2008, but was shelved after locals called on Wang to keep it. Six years later, Wang seems determined to finally get rid of it. He said a company’s economic interest comes first and if no one offers to buy it before May, the plane will be moved away, Yangcheng Evening News.
The jet is one of the three Tridents imported from Pakistan in 1969. One was designated to Mao, another for state and military leaders, and the last one to Lin Biao, the former successor of Mao until his plane mysteriously crashed in Mongolia. To add to the plane’s tragic lore, it was never used by Mao, but by Madame Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife and the radical leader during China’s chaotic Cultural Revolution.
Wang is hoping private collectors, especially ones from Zhuhai, can come forward and buy the plane.
Here are some photos of the aircraft:
Home page photo from Shajiabang 沙家浜