- Title: CHINA: Thousands of Chinese queue overnight for new Olympic note
- Date: 9th July 2008
- Summary: (BN03) BEIJING, CHINA (JULY 9, 2008) (REUTERS) QUEUES OF PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE BANK OF CHINA PEOPLE STANDING IN QUEUE AND POLICE PATROLLING VARIOUS OF GROUPS OF PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE THE BANK PEOPLE WALKING IN LINE TOWARDS ENTRANCE OF BANK OF CHINA PEOPLE RUNNING INTO THE BANK MAN HANDING OUT MONEY TO BANK CLERK FRONT AND BACK OF NEW OLYMPIC NOTE (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) HAN GUOCAI, CUSTOMER, WHO GOT THE OLYMPIC 10 YUAN NOTE AFTER QUEUING FOR ABOUT 16 HOURS, SAYING: "Very excited! I was here since 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and I am very excited and happy, now that I got the new note" BANK CLERK HANDING OUT OLYMPIC NOTE TO CUSTOMER VARIOUS OF CUSTOMERS RECEIVING BANK NOTE FROM BANK CLERKS OLYMPIC 10 YUAN NOTE MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WALKING AWAY (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) XIAO GANG, PRESIDENT OF THE BANK OF CHINA, SAYING "The biggest challenge we face is the supply and demand of the notes. The difficulty we have is, as you can see, there are so many people waiting outside. But we have gained good experience from selling the Olympic tickets, so we have the ability to handle it with good service" POLICE PATROLLING OUTSIDE BANK VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WAITING IN LINE QUEUES OF PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE BANK OF CHINA WITH POLICE PATROLLING CUSTOMERS WALKING INTO BANK CUSTOMER, GUAN REN, SHOWING OLYMPIC BANK NOTE FRONT AND BACK OF OLYMPIC NOTE SHOWING PATTERNS OF BIRD'S NEST AND SPORTSMEN (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) GUAN REN, CUSTOMER, SAYING: "The Olympics will be held in China, and it is an honour that only happens in 100 years, so I am going to keep the Olympic note from Bank of China as a memento." CARS DRIVING PASS BANK OF CHINA WHILE QUEUES OF PEOPLE WAIT OUTSIDE
- Embargoed: 24th July 2008 13:00
- Location: China, China
- Country: China
- Topics: Domestic Politics,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA4GGZH0RW68PBV7W13F2YIS9LX
- Story Text: The central bank of China dropped the the image of the country's former leader, Mao Zedong, from six million new 10-yuan notes on Wednesday (July 9) to commemorate next month's Olympic Games, the first time in almost a decade that China has issued its currency without Mao's face on it.
Thousands of citizens in Beijing queued in front of a Bank of China branch for nearly 20 hours, just to get one of the notes.
One side of the new cyan-blue-coloured note features the National Stadium, nicknamed the Bird's Nest, in north Beijing, the main venue for the Aug. 8-24 Games.
The 'Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing' Games emblem, designed to look like the red-inked Chinese character stamps used since imperial times, is positioned above the nest, with the capital's historic Temple of Heaven public park as a backdrop.
The reverse side features an ancient Greek marble statue of a discus-thrower, portraits of athletes and the numeral '2008', the bank said.
The notes broke the grip Mao has held on the country's currency since 1999.
The Olympic characteristics of the notes attracted thousands of people to the bank, despite the pain of queuing overnight.
Han Guocai, a customer originally from the far west province of Qinghai, could not hold back his smile when he got the new note.
"Very excited! I was here since 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and I am very excited and happy, now that I got the new note," said Han.
Despite thousands of others waiting outside, there are only 500 notes to be sold at this branch, and each customer is only allowed one note.
A large security force was at the bank in case people became agitated in their excitement to buy the note.
The president of the Bank of China, Xiao Gang, said the bank was making great efforts to make sure everything went smoothly.
"The biggest challenge we face is the supply and demand of the notes. The difficulty we have is, as you can see, there are so many people waiting outside. But we have gained good experience from selling the Olympic tickets, so we have the ability to handle it with good service," said Xiao.
Many Chinese see the upcoming Beijing Olympics both as a way of further boosting the economy, as well as an exhibition of their nation's power.
The special Olympic note is likely to become a collector's item for the many Chinese citizens excited by the Olympics.
"The Olympics will be held in China, and it is an honour that only happens in 100 years, so I am going to keep the Olympic note from Bank of China as a memento," said Guan Ren, a citizen who waited in the queue since 7 pm the previous day.
China has transformed its capital city for the Olympics, and the government hopes the Games will promote domestic stability and showcase a newly confident nation to the rest of the world.
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