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MAO PINS ARE POINTED WASTE OF ALUMINUM

China made 4.8 billion Mao pins - more than the Earth's population at the time - during the decadelong cult honoring the chairman, a local newspaper reported.

The pins, a standard article of dress for Chinese during the radical 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, used up aluminium that could have built 39,600 MiG jet fighters, the Guizhou Daily said in an edition seen in Beijing Wednesday.If lined up pin to pin, the badges could have circled the world six times, the newspaper said.

Like almost every statistic in China, the number of Mao badges is open to question.

But Zhou Jihou, author of the newspaper article, said he arrived at the 4.8 billion figure after researching Mao memorabilia for more than 10 years.