Chinese memento

Departing Chinese Ambassador Fu Ying has donated her mother’s food coupons to the British Museum as part of the exhibition: History of the World in 100 Objects.

In donating the coupons, she said: “When I was young, food supply was in serious shortage in China. Food coupons were issued based on monthly rations, though they were phased out from people’s daily lives in the 1980s thanks to the progress of reform and opening-up.”

But Ambassador Fu’s mother safeguarded them in case tough times returned. “Fortunately they never did. China now is able to produce enough food for its 1.3 billion people. I hope that the British people may, through these small pieces of printed paper, understand better about China’s past, today and its future.”