The jet has been a landmark in Zhuhai for the past two decades. (Photo/CNS)
The private jet formerly used by Chairman Mao parked in a square in Zhuhai in southern China's Guangdong province has been put up for sale with an asking price of 8 million yuan (US$1.2 million), reports Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po.
The aircraft, 46 meters long, has been a landmark for the city for the past two decades. Local conglomerate Ridong Group, which owns the jet, said its chairman had a strong interest in planes and brought the jet south from Beijing.
The company recently put the plane on the market for a second time after a first attempt to sell it failed in 2008. The firm wants the aircraft gone by May even it that means it ends up disassembled in a warehouse, as the space it occupies is wanted to build a parking lot.
Ridong has priced the jet at 8 million yuan (US$1.2 million) due to its association with Mao Zedong and other former Chinese leaders. It is one of three planes imported from Pakistan in 1969, one of which was allocated to Mao's right-hand man during the Cultural Revolution, Lin Biao. This was the plane which crashed in Mongolia as Lin and his family fled after an apparent failed coup attempt by Mao's heir apparent in 1971. The other two were assigned to Mao and other top party and government officials and remained in service until they were decommissioned in 1986.
Wang Zhilei, assistant to Ridong's chairman, said the jet was formerly considered to be China's Air Force One. Most of the time the plane was used by Jiang Qing, Mao's wife and the leader of the "Gang of Four" which was held chiefly responsible for the Cultural Revolution.
Wang Zhilei 王志磊
Ridong Group 日東集團
Jiang Qing 江青
Mao Zedong 毛澤東