China, or known by its official name of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is located in Asia and has the longest combined land border in the world, measuring 22,117 km (13,743 miles) from the mouth of the Yalu River to the Gulf of Tonkin. It borders 14 countries: Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia; India,Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan in South Asia; Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia; and Russia, Mongolia, and North Korea in Inner Asia and Northeast Asia. Additionally, China shares maritime boundaries with South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines., more than any other country except Russia, which also borders 14 / China is vast and diverse with respect to its landscape, from the forest steppes and Taklamakan and Gobi deserts in the north to its subtropical forests located in the south. China is separated from the South and Central Asia by the famous Karakoram, Tian Shan and Pamir mountain ranges. Let´s go with some cool and fun China facts..
Interesting Facts About China – History Facts
It is the most populous country in the world and its population is over 1.381 billion.
The capital of China is Beijing and it is a country governed by the vanguard party. Largest city is Shanghai
China has over 22 provinces, four directly-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing), five autonomous regions, two self-governing administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and claimed sovereignty over the state of Taiwan.
Although China is the most populated country, it’s not the largest by land area. In fact, it’s the second largest country and covers approximately 9.6 million sq kilometers.
China is also home to two of the longest rivers in the world. The Yangtze and Yellow rivers are the third and sixth longest rivers of the world, and they run from the Tibetan plateau to the eastern seaboard of China.
China has a coastline of 14,500 kilometers along the Pacific Ocean. It’s bounded by four seas including Bohai, East China, South China and Yellow Sea.
The country has been a cradle of various civilizations and the known history of this region begins with one of the earliest civilizations of the world. This civilization flourished in the Yellow River’s fertile basin located in the North China Plain.
For millennia, China was ruled by hereditary monarchies called dynasties. Interestingly, the Qin Dynasty formed the Chinese empire by conquering several states and uniting them in 221 BCE. Since then, the empire has fractured, reformed and expanded several times.
The last dynasty was replaced over a century ago in 1912 by the Republic of China, and the party ruled until 1949. Afterward, the Communist Party took over in the Chinese Civil War after defeating the Republic of China. The Communist Party established Beijing as its capital in 1949 and ruled the People’s Republic of China. Interestingly enough, the government of Republic of China didn’t end but relocated to Taiwan in the capital city of Taipei. To this day, both governments of People’s Republic of China and Republic of China claim to be the legitimate government of China.
For the most part of the last two thousand years, China has been the largest economy in the world, seeing cycles of decline and prosperity during this time.
China is also the fastest growing economy ever since economic reforms were introduced in 1978.China is the largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, but it’s the second largest in terms of nominal GDP.
In trade, China is also the largest exporter in the world as well as the second largest importer. (source)
China is a recognized state with the power of nuclear weapons and it also has the world’s biggest standing army as well as the second largest defense budget in the world.
Interesting Facts About China for Travelers – Things to Do and See
Mao Zedong closed China to foreign tourism during the years 1949 to 1974. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that Deng Xiaoping developed China’s tourism to earn foreign exchange.
Since then, China has come a long way in tourism and is ranked as the third leading country in terms of tourism with almost 56 million visitors and is only behind France and the US. However, if you count Hong Kong and Macau, China is considered to be the top tourist destination in the world. In fact, the United Nations World Tourism Organization estimated that China will become the world’s leading destination by 2016-2018.
Most travelers think that you haven’t really been to China if you didn’t climb the Great Wall. It’s the most iconic symbol of China, and it’s the longest wall in the world. It’s an amazing feat reflective of ancient defensive architecture.
It’s among the Seven Wonders and rightfully so because the wall’s winding path takes you over the rugged country and steep mountains, which make for some great scenery. In terms of length, it’s around 5000km long, extending from the east coast to the western frontier of China, but if you ever go to visit, the best preserved parts of the wall are close to Beijing.
In 1974, some farmers were digging a well, but they uncovered something far more precious. In fact, they discovered the Terracotta Army of Xi’an, considered among the greatest archaeological places in the world. It’s now a part of the World Cultural Heritage.
It’s estimated that The Terracotta Army was underground for two thousand years. If you’re wondering what it is, this army is made up of hundreds of life-size and detailed models of the army that defeated the other Chinese armies during the Warring States Period and led to the formation of a united China.
Forbidden City was once an actual palace city in Beijing where ordinary people and peasants were forbidden entry. It’s a breathtaking and extravagant demonstration of the ancient Chinese architecture. Golden roofs painted in red and yellow in over 8000 rooms makes it quite a sight to behold. It’s of great historical value as it used to be the Imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties up until 1911, and up to 24 Chinese emperors have lived there.
The Li River of Guilin is another place travelers love to visit. Known as the Watery Wonder, the landscape along this river has been capturing the hearts of artists and poets for centuries. The beauty of nature makes it a popular photography destination as the landscape is decorated by steep cliffs, startling hills, farming villages and bamboo grooves.
The Yellow Mountains in the east China is a scenic area that woos travelers with all its wonders including sun rises, oddly-shaped rocks, twisted pine trees, seas of clouds, and hot springs. The Yellow Mountains is among the best national parks in China, and these mountains are considered the most famous in the country.
Fun Facts About China – Funny Facts About Culture
6000 BC is considered as the dawn of Chinese civilization, which makes it the oldest and longest continuing civilization. Similarly, the Chinese language is also the world’s longest continuing written language. Oracle bone inscriptions carved on mammal bones and tortoise shells are the oldest proofs of Chinese written language, going back to the Shang Dynasty in 1600 BC.
Not only is the Chinese language of importance historically, but it’s still of great significance even today. Chinese is the language which is most widely spoken in the world. Almost 850 million natives and 1.34 billion total speakers worldwide use the Chinese language, also known as Mandarin.
Chinese people are also known for being the first to cultivate rice and millet, a practice that dates back to 7500 BC. Interestingly enough, the first proof of Chinese settled agriculture is found in around 5000 BC.
Ever wondered what China is called in the Chinese language? It’s called “Zhongguo”, which means Middle Kingdom or Central Nation. This translation reflects the ancient view of the Chinese that China is at the center of the world. This name was first used almost 3000 years ago.
Beijing hasn’t always been China’s capital. In fact, it’s among the four Great Ancient Chinese Capitals, while the other three are Nanjing, Chang’an and Luoyang. Beijing wasn’t always known as Beijing and it has had several names such as Yanjing, Dadu, Beiping and Peking. The literal translation of Beijing is the Northern Capital.
Chinese translate the names of foreign countries in a fascinating manner. These translations are mostly done by phonetically translating the names into similar sounding Chinese characters, which leads to some intriguing results. For example, the Chinese word for America is Meiguo, which translates to Beautiful Country. England’s translation is Yingguo, which means Hero Country. Some names are literally translated, and that’s why Iceland is called Bingdao which means Ice Island.
Both of the top tourist attractions of China i.e. the Great Wall and Terracotta Army were built by the First Emperor Qin, but the construction of these two wonders involved hundreds of thousands of labor who were forced to work for years.
Mao Zedong is responsible for up to 70 million deaths in peacetime. 20-30 million estimated Chinese people died due to starvation during Mao Zedong’s failed plan called the Great Leap Forward. He tried to propel China into becoming a modern economy. Interestingly enough, during Mao’s period, China’s illiteracy rate went down from 80% to 10% and life expectancy went from 35 to 70 years.
Let’s talk sports now. Where do you think ping pong originated from? You’ll probably think China. Where do you think Football originated from? You’ll probably think Britain, but the truth is actually the opposite of it. Football originates from China, while ping pong, the most popular recreational sport in China, was invented in Great Britain. Origins of football in China go back to two thousand years ago, while ping pong was invented in the 1880s by the British upper class.