China is an East Asian country and is the world's most populous - around 1.4 billion people. It is also the world's fourth-largest country by area. China was one of the world's first civilizations, and the country's economy has been one always been one of biggest in the world. If you are planning to visit the country, here are some interesting facts about China told though video you should know on your cheap multi-city flight or stopover.
General Facts About China
1. China has several territorial disputes with neighbouring countries
China has an impressive 14 neighbouring countries, including countries like Russia, India, and North Korea. But China doesn't have friendly diplomatic affairs with some of those due to territorial disputes. In 2017, Bhutan protested against China over the construction of a road in the territory of Doklam. And they have a long-standing dispute with India over the Aksai Chin region. China has a disagreement with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam over some islands in the South China sea.
2. Yellow River was the cradle of Chinese civilization
The Chinese initially established on the Yellow River's fertile basin and is one of the world's first known civilizations. Throughout its history, several dynasties ruled China, starting with the Xia dynasty, which emerged around 2100 BCE. China became imperial China under the Qin dynasty in 221 BCE, which lasted all the way till the Qing dynasty. In 1912, China became the Republic of China and then the People’s republic of China in 1949.
3. The Chinese language is the only pictographic language still in use
Standard Chinese or Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world. Chinese is a pictographic language. Many characters use today came from ancient drawings of items. Chinese is also one of the hardest languages to learn for an English speaker. There are about 3000 characters to know to be fluent in the language. It is also a tonal language. The meaning of the same word will differ depending on the tone used to pronounce it.
Geographical Facts About China
4. Every map of China is slightly wrong
Another fun China fact is the 1992 law makes any surveying or mapping of mainland China illegal without the Chinese government's specific authorization. Even the legally permitted companies must alter their maps intentionally as a result of this law. The government requires this law as it believes that keeping its geographic data secret is vital for society's development and progress.
5. The great wall of China is actually not visible from space
China's great wall is a series of fortifications built across imperial China as protection from nomadic invasions. The wall stretches to an astonishing 21,196 km (13,171 mi). Some believe it is the only human-made structure visible from space. However, it is not all true. Many human-made structures such as bridges and highways are visible from space, also the great wall of China is barely discernible.
Interesting China Facts
6. China is on its way to having the world's largest economy
China was an economic superpower for most of the two millennia, from the 1st century to the 19th century. They lost their title with the rapid economic growth of European countries and the USA. Ever since China opened its economy to the rest of the world in 1978, it is returning to be a global economic superpower. China currently has the second-largest economy, and economists predict China to have the largest economy by 2028.
7. The manufacturing industry is the force behind the Chinese economic renaissance
China's GDP was merely 4% of the world's total GDP in 1978, but the figure rose to 15% after 40 years. The main force behind such an economic renaissance is the manufacturing industry. The cost associated with manufacturing is far less than other countries making Chinese products competitive in the global market with low prices.
8. Chinese food varies according to the region
China has one of the most diverse cuisines in the world. The food changes according to the region. The colder and drier northern region favours meat and wheat productions such as dumplings, wheat noodles, and steamed buns. And the southern parts mostly eat seafood and rice. Chinese food is also notorious for having some unusual dishes such as dog meats, sea urchins, and insects.
9. China has a tradition of molten iron fireworks
Da Shuhua or Dashuhua is a Chinese festival with a history of more than 500 years. Since the poor couldn't afford fireworks and firecrackers, they used molten iron with cold bricks to create showers of sparks, which later became a tradition. UNESCO classified the festival as an intangible cultural heritage of Chinese culture.
10. Chinese women were forced to bind their feet as a sign of beauty
Probably one of the most interesting facts about China is its foot-binding custom. Foot-binding custom is where you girls had to break and tightly bind their foot to change the shape and size. This foot binding, also known as Lotus feet, was a status symbol and a mark of beauty. This custom caused life-long disabilities among many women. The Chinese government banned this practice in the 1950s, and now foot binding is illegal in China.