10 Surprising Things about China

If we are talking about traveling in Asia, China is a must-visit! The country is as interesting as it can get. It has a long history, dating back around 8,000 years ago, sceneries worth traveling for, and an intriguing culture. 

But before booking the earliest flight to China, it’s best that you know about these interesting things about the country of the Red Dragon. 

World’s most populated country

As of June 28, 2021, China’s current population stands at 1.4 billion. Yes, billion. To give you a more comprehensive statistics, here what’s this 1.4 billion people really means: 

  • China’s population is more than 4 times bigger than the US
  • One in every 5 human is Chinese
  • Based on the number of native speakers, Chinese is the most popular language in the world
  • 14% of the people in whole world can speak Chinese

Discoveries by the Ancient Chinese

Ancient China made some important contributions and inventions to the world. They invented paper and later on, toilet paper, though at that time, it was exclusive to be used only by emperors. Other inventions include gunpowder, printing, and the compass. 

Based on history, there are at least 20 inventions that can be traced back to being of Chinese origin. 

World’s largest army

The Chinese army, also called Chinese People’s Liberation Army, is the largest army in the world, with more than 2 million people. For comparison, it has the same population as Paris. 

It has a budget of $209.4 billion, ranked 2nd in the whole world. 

One timezone

China is a huge country, the United States too! However, the difference between these two is that while the US is one country with multiple time zones, China is one whole big country with only one timezone, the Beijing time. 

Imagine this, it’s 7 a.m in Beijing, the sun is up and people are getting ready for work, but it’s also 7 a.m 2,000 miles to the west in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region, even if it’s pitch dark and the stars are still out there. It’s also normal for some places to have the sun rise at 10 a.m.

The world’s heaviest and highest outdoor elevator

China is also the home to the world’s heaviest and highest outdoor lift called the Bailong Elevator in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie. It’s 1,070 feet tall (326 meters) and has a carrying capacity of 4,900 kilograms. 

The elevator’s construction began in 1999 with an investment of $20 million. It was officially opened to the public in 2002. In 2015, the lift had a speed upgrade and can make the ascent in just 1 minute and 32 seconds. 

Home to world-class universities

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings released on September 2, 7 Chinese universities are listed in the top 200 universities in the world. 

These universities are Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, University of Science and Technology of China, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Nanjing University.

China’s Giant Panda (all of them!) 

Every Panda alive in the world belongs to China. Pandas might be scattered all around the world and you might see them in your country but in reality, they are China’s legal property and are only being loaned out to countries which they are aiming to have good relations with. This is also called ‘Panda Diplomacy.’ 

Skyscrapers overload

China has the largest number of tall buildings in the world, 1,400 of them to be exact and all are above 150 meters tall. Which is not a surprising fact, given that China builds a new skyscraper every five days. The country even built a 57-storey building in 19 days! 

There’s no country that grows as fast as China at this point and in a year, the country builds at least 73 new skyscrapers. 

The Terracotta Army

The Terracotta Army, a set of around 8,000 clay soldiers, was built by roughly 700,000 laborers who worked around the clock for 36 years. 

It was first instigated by the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang, when he reigned over the Qin State in 246 BC. The Terracotta Army was built to “guard” the entire mausoleum and Emperor Qun Shi Huang believed that it could also protect him in the afterlife. 

The Grand Chinese New Year

The biggest and most-celebrated holiday in China is the Chinese New year. It is the real holiday as the celebration lasts for 15 days. 

It is celebrated in January or February and almost everyone is at home and are not working during this whole festivity. 

Aside from China, Chinese New Year is also celebrated in many other countries. 

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