Authorities issued new Chinese bank notes Wednesday that largely resemble bills in circulation but with new marks meant to foil currency counterfeiters.
New 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 yuan notes, as well as a 1 jiao coin -- worth 10 Chinese cents -- were available from the People's Bank of China, a statement on the bank's website said.
The design and color of the new bills, prominently featuring a portrait of communist founder Mao Zedong, remain the same as the last-issued 1999 yuan series but incorporate new watermarks and other minor changes that will make it harder to duplicate, the statement said.
"In recent years, the struggle against fake currency has demanded a higher quality of currency and improved anti-counterfeiting technology," the statement said.
The 1999 series issued lacked sufficient anti-counterfeiting technology "due to the economic situation and certain limitations on printing technology at that time," it said.
Changes include new watermarks, new serial numbers, new printing methods and the word "yuan" spelled out in a Romanized version in addition to Chinese characters, the statement said. The new notes carry the date 2005 on the back side.
The new 1 jiao coins will be made of stainless steel instead of aluminum, it said.
There will be no recall of the older bills, and vendors have been told they must continue to accept the older versions, the statement said.