Ten impressive facts about China
China is a vast country, not only by its geographical size but also by economic growth, population and technology. It is innovative as well as traditional: China highlights an incredible blend of history and futuristic potential.
- China has only one time zone
Despite its size, being the fourth largest country in the world by area, China only has the “Standard Chinese time”. The sunrise in parts of the West of China can be as late as 10 AM. When the clock says 6:00 in Beijing, it is also 6:00 in Xinjiang province, almost 3,000 miles further west. Until 1949, five time zones had been used.
- 1 in every 5 people in the world is Chinese
Approximately 20% of the total population in the world are Chinese. Nevertheless, most of them reside within the People’s Republic of China. Mandarin Chinese is, therefore, the most-spoken language in the world, with approximately 1.1 billion speakers compared to 983 million English speakers. It is also the oldest language still in use in writing.
- Football was invented in ancient China
More than two thousand years ago, the game that later turned into football was invented in China. The world’s first football was a leather ball filled with feathers and hair. The game was called “Tsu’ Chu”, which literally means “kicking ball”.
- By 2020, 30-40 Million more Chinese men than women will exist
Due to the one-child policy that has been standard for the last decades until 2015, China is facing an overload of the male population. This results from the fact that many parents preferred to have a son than a daughter. Hence, China’s date-rental industry is growing, where singles can hire a date for as little as $0.15 per hour.
- China’s extensive railway lines could surround the earth twice
China offers a widely expanded and well-developed railway infrastructure throughout the country. It is so long that it could loop around the world twice! The network is still growing, as, in recent years, China has been exploring the extension of its railway network to neighbouring countries as well as distant regions including the Russian Far East, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and even North America. It is home to the longest high-speed rail (HSR) network in the word. High-speed trains dedicated for passengers can generally reach 190–220 mph (300–350 km/h).
- A new skyscraper is built every 5 days
China is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, with cities being transformed rapidly. China builds at least 73 new skyscrapers within a year, resulting in a new building somewhere in the country every 5 days.
- Average household income in China increased by over 400% in 10 years
The booming economy in the country has created several billionaires in the last decade, and it also raised living standards for working class people. The average household income increased from $987 per year to $4,273. This is an increase of over 400%! After opening its borders to trade in 1970, China’s export economy grew 954% between 1970 and 2010!
- 1 in 5 people has Wang, Li or Zhan as their surname
The most common surnames make up about 21% of the population, counting close to 300 million people, and are easily the most common surnames in the world. Given names are much more diverse than surnames, while still being restricted to one or two syllables. They are often chosen based on personal preferences, including pleasing sound and tone, as well as positive associations or having a beautiful shape.
- Spitting, grunting and burping are common manners when eating in China
Contrary to the West, spitting small bones out onto a plate or an empty bowl is acceptable. Sounds of “appreciation” are welcome on the table as well.
- The number 8 is considered a lucky number by the Chinese.
The sound of eight is similar to the Chinese word for “prosperity”. Number eight in Chinese is called ‘Ba’, which sounds similar to the word ‘Fa’. It contains meanings of success, fortune and high social status.