monetary unit of China. The yuan is divided into 100 fen and 10 jiao. The People's Bank of China has exclusive authority to issue currency. Banknotes are issued in denominations from 1 fen to 100 yuan. The obverse of some banknotes contains images of communist leaders, such as Mao Zedong, leader of China's communist revolution, whose likeness is pictured on several notes; lower denominations often contain images of people dressed in traditional attire. The reverse side of most coins, which range in denominations from 1 fen to 1 yuan, contains images of historic buildings and the country's diverse landscape. Renminbi, or people's money, became the official name of the currency in 1969.
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