Keep on reading to discover the most amazing China facts that will make you smarter than your friends!
Geographical Facts About China
China Is One Of The Biggest Countries In The World
In contrary to most people think, China is not the biggest country in the world.
Russia is almost 2 times bigger than China!
China Has The Highest Number Of Neighbouring Countries In The World
Now, that is one of the fun facts about China that is worth knowing!
The number is the same for Russia- both lands are bordering with 14 countries.
Cultural Facts About China and Facts About Chinese People
China Is World’s Most Populated Country
China is the most populated country in the world (with almost 1.5 billion people in 2020).
Here’s what this fact about China REALLY means:
- The population of China is more than 4 times bigger than the population of the US
- One in every 5 humans is Chinese
- Chinese is the most popular language in the world (based on the number of native speakers)
- 14% of people in the world speak Chinese. The most commonly spoken dialect is Mandarin, which about 70% of China’s population speaks.
Many Chinese Consider Long Nails As A Symbol Of Wealth
If you imagined long red nails of a beautiful Chinese businesswoman, you are wrong.
One of the weirdest facts about China is that men often don’t cut their nails to show that they are rich. Sounds ridiculous? It actually makes sense when you take a closer look.
If you work physically, your nails need to be short, so only white-collar workers can “afford” having long nails.
It’s the same with the skin color- the whiter it is, the wealthier you seem to be (because the sun makes your skin darker, you can only be pale when working indoor).
Some Chinese Restore Their Virginity
Another China fun fact is that restoring virginity is possible and quite popular in China. This plastic surgery even has a medical name- hymenorrhaphy.
Chinese women pay a lot of money for reconstructing their hymens before the wedding night. They just don’t want their future husbands to find out that they are not virgins anymore…
Chinese Kids Have A Weird Toilet Etiquette
This fact about China is really weird! Pampers are not popular in China. Many children wear special pants with a big hole bottom. When they feel they need to make a poo or pee, they just squat and do it wherever they want.
And this is what you call an eco life! More about open-crotch pants here.
50 Million Chinese Live Abroad
It’s more than the population of most countries in the European Union.
Just to compare, 50 million people are living in the following countries: Colombia, South Korea, or Kenya.
Chinese Have Weird Table Manners
One of the interesting facts about China is that behaviors that are considered rude in most countries in the world are totally acceptable in PRC.
That includes spitting, yawning, grunting, and burping. Not only when you eat.
I remember taking a cable car ride in Hong Kong. We were sitting in a small lift- me, my brother, and the Chinese family. It was quiet, we’ve been all enjoying the views when suddenly- mom of the two lovely boys burped loudly.
We were so surprised that we didn’t really know how to behave. Then she did it again.
After spending more time in China, I realized that her behavior was completely normal and acceptable.
Many People In China Still Live In Caves
It is unbelievable but 35 million Chinese people still live in caves!
They don’t have enough money for building a house, so they are using caves as their shelters.
Chinese Take New Year’s Celebration To The Whole New Level
Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday in China. It is celebrated in January or February and it’s a real holiday for everybody. Almost nobody is working, everyone is going back home to celebrate this happy time with their families.
Chinese New Year’s celebration lasts for 15 days!
Nothing can be compared to this. It’s really unusual that the whole country is having a holiday for such a long time.
What’s interesting, Chinese New Year is celebrated in many other countries in the world. Considering the huge population of China, it is very likely that the Chinese New Year is even more popular than Christmas!
Here are a couple of fun facts about the Chinese new year calendar:
- In the Chinese new year calendar, the Chinese New Year Date always changes.
- The Chinese new year calendar also has a zodiac animal each year.
China Is A Multireligious Country
Due to the huge population of China, almost every religion of the world has adhered there. The most popular are Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
White Is The Mourning Color in China
While black is considered as the mourning color all over the world, it’s different in China. Chinese people wear white when they are going to funerals, as for them, this color symbolizes death.
Political Facts About China
Chinese Government Is Judging All Citizens Based On Their Behavior
Have you been watching the Black Mirror? If so, you may remember the concept of a social credit system, where every person in a society is being rated based on one’s behavior.
It’s not fiction anymore- in China it came true in some way. All the citizens of China have a social credit score. They can either be punished (loose points) or rewarded (gain points).
Jailwalking? Being late with paying off the debt? You are losing your points. Donating money to charity? Some points are added.
What do the Chinese people need the points for? Basically, for everything- from being allowed to stay in the hotels to taking a train ride.
Recently, a case of Xu Xiaodong became famous when his credit score was lowered to “D” just because he proved that MMA is a more effective martial art than kung fu. He is now not allowed to buy real estate, plane tickets, and his kids won’t be able to attend public schools. More about it here.
China Has World’s Largest Army
Another of interesting facts about China is that the Chinese army has the biggest number of soldiers in the world (more than 2 million people).
There Is A Birth Restriction In China
China is the only country in the world where reproduction is limited. Until 2015 Chinese couples could have only 1 child. Now they are allowed to have a maximum of 2 kids.
Some of the risks China can face in the future because of the birth restriction are:
more boys than girls
Most Asian people, including China, believe that having a son is the most important goal to achieve in life.
It has a cultural background. Son is always the one who stays with his parents and take care of them when they are old (there’s no age pension in China). And the girl ‘goes’ to his husband’s family, she is not responsible for her own parents but for her parents in law.
Of course, nobody can choose the sex of the child, it’s up to nature. That’s why female foeticide is very popular in China. It is the selective abortion of girls in the womb. It’s officially forbidden by the law, the gynecologist can’t tell anyone the sex of the baby. But of course, one ‘little’ bribe can open their mouths.
This phenomenon will have a huge impact on the entire country. In the future, there won’t be enough women in China. Chinese men will be forced to marry foreigners or… the population of the country will fall dramatically.
4-2-1 phenomenon will be very common
What is 4-2-1? It’s 4 old people (parents) that don’t can’t live without a help from their 2 children (husband an wife). And they have only 1 child to support them when they get old.
Taking into consideration that life expectancy is increasing, it’s very likely that this one child will have to take care of his parents and grandparents!
So one man will have to earn for his family, for his and his wife’s parents. And maybe even his grandparents. Feeding 10 people from one salary may be difficult, right?
the birth restriction will be very difficult to reverse
More than 30 years of the one-child policy in China has its consequences. Most Chinese people right now don’t want a second child, even though they are allowed to have it since 2015.
They believe that having more than one child is too expensive and time-consuming.
The Chinese government didn’t predict it back in 1980. Who knows, maybe in a few years young Chinese couples will be forced to have more children? And there will be penalties for having only one baby…
China Has The Highest Number Of UNESCO Sites In The World
The number is equal to Italy. Both countries have 55 (!) UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Spain is a runner-up with 48 sites.
The most frequently visited UNESCO sites in China include:
- Forbidden City in Beijing
- The Great Wall of China
- Summer Palace in Beijing
- Temple of Heaven in Beijing
- Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (with the famous Terracotta Army)
- and more
There Is Only One Time Zone In China
The next China fun fact is that it’s a huge country with only one time zone! That’s why in some places the sun rises even at 10 AM.
In the past, China has 5 different time zones. But in 1949 the Communist Party leaders decided to set one time for the whole country. Since then, everybody is using an official Beijing time.
Many Websites Are Blocked In China
If you think you can scroll down your Facebook feed in the evening, while you are in China you are wrong.
Facebook, Google, YouTube, and many other world’s biggest websites are blocked in China.
What’s the reason? The Chinese government wants to control the information that is uploaded and downloaded in the country. That’s why the websites used by the Chinese should also be own by Chinese.
It’s easy to bypass the Great Firewall though. All you need is a good VPN for China.
There Are Many Unofficial Names For China
One of the interesting facts about China is that the country has an extraordinarily high number of alternative names. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Middle Country/ Middle Kingdom (Zhonghua)– in the past, Chinese believed to be in the center of the world)
- Flowery Kingdom (Hua) because of the high number of flowers and fruits that were (and still are!) growing in the country
- Under the Heavens (Tianxia) came from the wide concept of Chinese empire (more here)
- Sacred Earth and Divine Land (Chixian Shenzhou)
- Huaxia as one name for all the Chinese tribes
- Within The Seas (Hainei) – in the past Chinese people believed that their country is surrounded by the seas
Random Fun Facts About China
China Is An Owner Of All Pandas In The World
The next fun China fact is that the country is the owner of all pandas. Literally, all of them!
Every single panda that lives in this world belongs to China. All China pandas
If you see a panda in other countries, it means it is lent from PRC (People’s Republic of China). What’s interesting, when a baby panda is born, it is sent to China to help expand the gene pool.
Chinese Are Dealing With A Traffic Jam In A Very Creative Way
China is the most populated country in the world. No wonder they have huge traffic jam problems.
What to do when you are late for your meeting and you are stuck in a traffic jam? You are calling the bottleneck rescuers! Two guys will come to you on a motorbike. One will drive you whenever you want and the other will take your place in a car.
China Is The Empire Of Pigs
Here’s another interesting fact about China: half of the pigs in the world belong to this country! On an average day, Chinese people consume 1.7 million pigs.
China Has The Longest Continuous Civilization In The World
Want more China facts? It’s worth knowing that the country has the world’s longest continuous civilization. It began about 6,000 BC and last until today.
Here are a few Ancient China facts:
- Ancient China had the longest-lasting empire in history.
- The Last Emperor of China became a ruler when he was still a toddler – he was only 3 years old.
- The four greatest inventions of Ancient China are Gunpowder, paper, printing, and the compass.
Chinese People Spend The Most On Travel In The World
It will probably not surprise you that they are also the biggest travel spenders in the world. On average, they spend $260 billion (!) dollars annually which is almost twice as the runner up in this rank– United States.
Silk Road Is World’s Oldest And Longest Trade Route
Did you know that the Silk Road is the oldest, longest, and most popular trade route in the world?
The majority of the Silk Road belongs to China’s territory of 9,597 million km2, and Silk Road is 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers) long and extends across the entire area of China. The road starts from Beijing and is a connection to East and Southeast Asia with East Africa, West Asia, and Southern Europe.
History records that the beginning of the Silk Road started in the Han Dynasty period and the road was closed for trade during the Ottoman Empire.
The road has an interesting name “Silk,” and for many, it is an association that traded only with silk, but it does not. The name for the first time was spanned by the German geographer and historian Ferdinand Von Richthofen when he wanted to describe his journey along the Silk Road.
It’s believed that not only silk from the East to the West was traded, but various goods were traded as well: from animals, porcelain, precious stones, gold, silver, teas, carpets, even slaves.
Silk Road exists today but is not used for trading, it is one of the top-rated tourist attractions in China because of the long Silk Road tours that allow you to experience ancient China.
China has invested vast amounts of money in training the way to be acceptable for tourist purposes. And it really has great success.
Brilliant Chinese Inventions and Discoveries
Chinese Are Medical Geniuses
Nowadays, we all know that blood is circulating in our veins. But it wasn’t so obvious in the past.
European scientist William Harvey was proud to announce this in 1628. He didn’t know that Chinese people discovered it… more than 2,000 years before him!
Chinese Invented Ice Creams
Who doesn’t love ice creams? We can eat this delicious dessert thanks to China.
It is believed that they first made it more than 4000 years ago by mixing milk, rice mixture with the snow.
Chinese Are Mathematical Geniuses
It isn’t a big secret that Chinese people are one of the best mathematics in the world.
History of mathematics in China dates back to 11th century BC! Thanks to China we know today the decimal and binary systems, geometry and algebra.
Chinese Are Architectural Geniuses
It is a commonly known fact that the world’s biggest man-made structure is situated in China. The Great Wall is not visible from the space but it’s still impressively long- 8,850 km (5,500 miles).
The most famous imperial palace in China called The Forbidden City has more than 9,000 rooms! This is definitely one of the traditional Chinese places you should visit while in China.
Chinese Are Gods Of War
Chinese people were the first to use gas and chemical weapons during the war.
European did the same… 2,000 years after them! These kinds of weapons were used during World War II.
When it comes to WWII, it’s worth to mention that Shanghai in China was the world’s only port that was accepting Jews running away from the Holocaust without an entry visa.
Another interesting fact about Chinese war skills is that they invented kites to frighten their enemies more than 3,000 years ago.
Interesting Quotes About China
China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world
Pearl S. Buck:
Nothing and no one can destroy the Chinese people. They are relentless survivors.
The Chinese culture belongs not only to the Chinese but also to the whole world.
A bad year in China is going to be a great year in any other country.
John F Kennedy:
When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters — one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
China is a great country with a great culture, populated by fascinating, industrious and talented people.
Bonus Fun Facts About China
Last but not least- here are some extra interesting facts about China that are worth knowing:
- China has the second-largest economy in the world (after USA)
- Chinese cookies were not invented in China
- There are over 300 skyscrapers in Hong Kong which is the highest number in the world
- it’s still popular to eat dogs in some parts of China
- Chinese people avoid number 4– they believe it’s a “deadly” number; more about it here
- At least 2 of the world’s pandemics originated in China: one is the famous Black Plague and the other is the most recent COVID-19
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Did you know these fun facts about China? Let us know in the comments below!