In a recent interview with The Beijing News, People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor, Chen Yulu, announced that the country is proceeding with plans to phase out the one yuan paper note.
The plan was initially introduced as a pilot project exclusively in Shandong Province, however, according to Chen, the one yuan note will gradually be phased out across the country.
Support for the policy remains divided. Pro-bill advocates argue that the one yuan coin is too heavy, and will require a change purse. Pro-coin advocates argue one yuan bills are often wrinkled and dirty, and are easily torn and destroyed.
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Interestingly, when it comes to use of the one yuan coin versus the bill, there appears be a geographical preference: bills in the north, and coins to the south. While northerners look down upon yuan coins as being “cheap” and “inferior”, southerners traditionally prefer coins due to the heavy humidity.
The passing of the one yuan bill will join the ranks of other lost denominations: the one mao bill, the five mao bill, and the two yuan bill. However while it has taken the two yuan bill ten years to finally be removed from circulation, the others routinely appear when getting change.
Whichever side of the debate you may fall on, there are two indisputable facts in favor of coins: they last longer than paper currency, and are less likely to spread germs and disease.