For many of us, China is a land covered with a flair of mystery. We know that it’s big and very populous. We also know that its economy is growing at a fast rate. To shed some light on this country of contrasts, we’ve prepared for you some interesting facts about China.
Here are dozens of facts about China, complete with sources, to consider, whether you just want some simple China facts for kids or just some fun Chinese tidbits for your next bar trivia night.
General China Facts for Everyone
Here are some of the basic facts about China (population facts, size statistics, etc.):
- China is the most populous country in the world with 1.4 billion inhabitants, which is 18.4% of the world’s population! It is also one of the only two countries with the population being over 1 billion people (the other being India). [source]
- In Mandarin Chinese, the official language of the country, China is called Zhongguo (中国), which means “Middle Kingdom” or “Central State”.
- The official name of the country is the People’s Republic of China.
- China is divided into 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities, and 2 special administrative regions, such as Hong Kong and Macau.
- There is also a hairy situation about Taiwan, which China considers to be its additional province; however, Taiwan rejects this claim trying to proclaim independence.
- The capital of the People’s Republic of China is Beijing, which has a long history of being a capital: for many centuries before it was a capital of various dynasties.
- Currently, China has the world’s second-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, $13.6 trillion. [source]
- The 128-story megatall skyscraper, the Shanghai Tower, is the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world, at 2,073 ft (632 m). Also, the Shanghai Tower is tied for having the highest observation deck in the world, at 1,841 ft (561.25 m), along with the Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen.
Facts about the Chinese Flag
- In 1949, the government of China announced a contest for the best design of the flag. The requirements were Chinese characteristics, power characteristics, the rectangular shape, and the bright red color.
- The creator of the flag as it is known today and the winner of the contest was Zeng Liansong, who is said to be inspired by the view of the night sky.
- The big star in the upper left corner represents the Communist Party of China and the other four stars represent four social classes of people: the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie.
Trivia and Facts about Nature and the Geography of China
- The total area of China is 9,562,910 sq. km, which makes it the fourth largest country in the world by total area. [source]
- The tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest with its 8,848 m (29,029 ft) is located on the border of China and Nepal.
- Even though geographically China is lying in the five different time zones, officially the country has only one time zone.
- China is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world.
- China is tied with Russia in having the most neighboring countries in the world, touching 14 sovereign countries.
- There are more than 100 cities in China with a population of over 1 million people. [source]
Facts about the Culture of China
- The biggest holiday in China is the Chinese New Year, with the celebrations going on for 15 days! To learn more about the history and traditions of this holiday, check out our article on Chinese New Year! (Or on the Chinese Nian legend which is integral to the Spring Festival celebrations!)
- With each new lunar year comes a new zodiac sign. Chinese have their own Zodiac, called Sheng Xiao, which is represented by 12 different animals.
- White color in China is associated with death and is also the color of mourning. On the contrary, the red color is believed to bring luck and happiness.
- Officially China can boast of having 56 ethnic groups with Han Chinese accounting for more than 90% of the country population.
- It is thought that the Chinese game cuju (or Ts’u-chü) is the earliest predecessor of soccer as we know it today, and it was played in China as early as the 3rd century BCE.
Facts on Chinese History
- There are four historical capitals of China: Beijing, Luoyang, Nanjing, and Xi’an.
- The Great Wall of China has been constructed for more than 2,000 years! It is also the longest man-made structure in the world.
- The earliest written records of the Chinese history are dated back to 1250 BCE, from the Shang dynasty. That is one of the reasons China is considered to be one of the oldest civilizations.
- Panda diplomacy has been used since 7 century CE, with the Chinese giving giant pandas as a gift at the important negotiations between countries. Nowadays, the Chinese government rents those animals to the zoos around the world with giant pandas and their offspring still being Chinese property. [source]
Facts about Chinese Food
- The Chinese government created a national pork reserve.
- Two of the most popular staple foods in China are noodles and rice, with north of the country being more accustomed to noodles and south of the country giving their preference to rice.
- Unlike many other countries, in China, the soup can be eaten anytime during the meal – even just before the dessert.
Thank you so much for reading! If you have any more interesting China facts, let us know! If you are interested in further reading on this country, check out our China travel guide!