China: World and Asia Records
The oldest civilization:
China has a written history of 4,000 years, and one of the four oldest world
The longest march in military history was the famous Long
March by the Chinese Communists in 1934-35. In 368 days, of which 268 days were days of
movement, from October to October, their force of 90,000 covered 9650 km 6,000 miles from
Jiangxi to Yanan in Sheanxi via Yunnan. They crossed 18 mountain ranges and 6 major rivers
and lost all but 22,000 of their force in continual rearguard actions against nationalist
Kuomintang (KMT) forces. A team of the British 2ninth Commando Regiment, each man motor
carrying a 18.14 kg 40 lb pack, including a rifle, covered the Plymouth Marathon,
Plymouth, Great Britain in 4 hr 35 min 47.28 sec on 1 November 1987.
The bloodiest civil war in history was the Taiping
('Great Peace') rebellion, which was a revolt against the Chinese Ch'ing dynasty between
1851 and 1864. The rebellion was led by the deranged Hung Hsiu-ch'uan (executed), who
imagined himself to be a younger brother of Jesus Christ. His force was named T'ai-p'ing
T'ien-kuo ('Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace'). According to the best estimates the loss of
life was some 20 million, including more than 100,000 killed by government forces in the
sack of Nanjing on 19-21 July 1864.
World Inventions: compass,
paper making, gunpowder and printing.
Economy: China now produces
the largest crops of grains, meat, cotton, peanuts, rape seed and fruits in the world, and
the third-largest crops of tea, soybean and sugar cane. It is also the world's largest
producer of steel, coal, cement, fertilizers and TV sets in the world, and the
second-largest producer of electricity, cotton cloth and chemical fiber. Its outputs of
sugar and crude oil rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the world. (Xinhua)
Nobel Prize Winners:
Xingjian Gao: 2000 Nobel Laureate in Literature
for his bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity.
DANIEL C. TSUI:
1998 Nobel Laureate in Physics
STEVEN CHU: 1997
Nobel Laureate in Physics
YUAN T. LEE:
1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes.
SAMUEL C. C.
TING: 1976 Nobel Laureate in Physics
CHEN NING YANG
LEE: 1957 Nobel Laureate in Physics
for their penetratinginvestigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to
important discoveries regarding the elementary particles.
Clock: The earliest mechanical clock- one with an escapement-
was completed in China in A.D. 725 by I Xing and Liang Lingzan.
Rocketry: War rockets, propelled by gun-powder
(charcoal-saltpeter-sulfur), were described by Zeng Kung Liang of China in 1042. This
early form of rocket became known in Europe by 1258.
wonders: Qin Mausoleum in Xi'an: one of the world wonders.
Largest tomb: The Mount Li tomb, belonging to Zeng, the
first emperor of China, dates to 221 B.C. and is situated 40 km 25 miles east of Xianyang.
The two walls surrounding the grave measure 2173 x 974 m 7,129 x 3,195 ft and 685 x 578 m
2,247 x 1,896 ft. Several pits in the tomb contained a vast army of an estimated 8,000
life-size terracotta soldiers.
The earliest written language discovered has been on
Yangshao culture pottery from Paa-t'o, near Xi'an (Sian) in the Shaanxi (Sheanxi) province
of China found in 1962.
Longest wall: The Great Wall of China has a main-line
length of 3460 km 2,150 miles-nearly three times the length of Britain. Completed during
the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi (221-210 B.C)., it has a further 2860 km 1,780 miles of
branches and spurs. Its height varies from 4.5-12 m 15-39 ft and it is up to 9.8 m 32 ft
thick. It runs from Shanhaikuan, on the Gulf of Bohai, to Yumenkuan and Yang-guan and was
kept in repair up to the 16th century. Some 51.5 km 32 miles of the wall have been
destroyed since 1966 and part of the wall was blown up to make way for a dam in July 1979.
On 6 March 1985 a report from China stated that a five-year-long survey proved that the
total length had been 9980 km 6,200 miles.
Largest palace: The Imperial Palace (Gu gong) in the
center of Beijing, the northern capital of China, covers a rectangle 960 x 750 m 1050 x
820 yd3,150 x 2,460 ft, an area of 72 ha 177.9 acres. The outline survives from the
construction of the third ming emperor, Yung Lo (1402-24), but due to constant
rearrangements most of the intramural buildings are 18th-century. These consist of five
halls and 17 palaces, of which that occupied by the last empress until 1924 was the Palace
of Accumulated Elegance (Chu xia gong).
Largest moat: From plans drawn by French sources it
appears that those which surround the Imperial Palace in Beijing (see above)
measure 49 m 54 yd162 ft wide and have a total length of 3290 m 3600 yd10,800 ft. In all,
the city's moats total 38 km 23 1/2 miles.
Longest covered promenade: The Long Corridor in the
Summer Palace in Beijing is a covered promenade running for 728 m 2388.45 ft. It is built
entirely of wood and divided by crossbeams into 273 sections. These crossbeams, as well as
the ceiling and side pillars have over 10,000 paintings of famous Chinese landscapes,
episodes from folk tales and flowers and birds.
Highest movie-theater going: The Chinese Ministry of
Culture reported in September 1987 that there were 21 billion movie-theater attendances in
1986 - or nearly 21 per person per year.
Commonest family name: The Chinese name Chang is borne,
according to estimates, by between 9.7 and 12.1 percent of the Chinese population, so
indicating even on the lower estimate that there are at least some 104 million Changs -
more than the entire population of all but seven of the other 168 sovereign countries of
Shanghai Televsion Tower: highest
Origin of Golf: The Chinese Nationalist Golf Association
claims the game is of Chinese origin (ch'ui wan - the ball hitting game) in the third or
2nd century B.C.
Origin of Badminton: Badminton is a descendant of the
children's game of battledore and shuttlecock. It is believed that a similar game was
played in China more than 2,000 years ago.
Weightlifting : Women's World Championships: These are
held annually, first at Daytona Beach, FL in October 1987. Women's world-records have been
ratified for the best marks at these championships. The heaviest lift for any of the nine
weight categories has been the 137.5 kg 303 lb jerk by Han Changmei (China) (b. 21
December 1965) for over 82.5 kg at Manchester, Great Britain in November in 1989.
Weightlifting : Heaviest lift to body weight: The first
woman to clean and jerk more than two times her own body weight was Cheng Jinling (China),
who lifted 90 kg 198 lb in the 44 kg class of the World Championships at Jakarta,
Indonesia in December 1988.
Gymnastics : World Cup: Gymnasts who have won two World
Cup (instituted 1975) overall titles are three men: Nikolay Andrianov (USSR), Aleksandr
Dityatin (USSR) and Li Ning (China) (b. 8 Sep 1963), and one woman: Maria Yevgenyevna
Filatova (USSR) (b. 19 July 1961).
Athletics : World record breakers: Oldest & Youngest
For the greatest age at which anyone has broken a world-record under IAAF jurisdiction.
The youngest individual record breaker is Wang Yan (China) (b. 9 April 1971), who set a
women's 5,000 m walk record at age 14 yr 334 days with 21 min 33.8 sec at Jian, China on 9
World Highest Mountain: An eastern Himalayan peak of 8848
m 29,028 ft above sea level on the Tibet-Nepal border (in an area first designated
Chu-mu-lang-ma on a map of 1717) was discovered to be the world's highest mountain in 1852
by the Survey Department of the Government of India, from theodolite readings taken in
1849 and 1850. In 1860 its height was computed to be 8840 m 29,002 ft. On 25 July 1973 the
Chinese announced a height of 8848.2 m 29,029 ft 3 in. It was named Mt Everest after Col.
Sir George Everest (1790-1866), formerly surveyor-general of India. Everest's status as
the world's highest mountain, maintained for 135 years (1852-1987), was most recently
challenged by K2 (formerly Godwin Austen), also known as Chogori, in the disputed Kashmiri
Northern Areas of Pakistan, in an announcement on 6 March 1987 by the US K2 Expedition.
Their satellite transit surveyor yielded altitudes of between 8858 and 8908 m
29,064-29,228 ft as against the hitherto official 19th-century figure of 8611 m 28,250 ft,
and the 20th-century proposed height of 8760 m 28,740 ft. However, on 13 August 1987 the
Chinese reaffirmed their heights of 8848.2 m 29,029 ft 3 in for Everest and 8611 m 28,250
ft for K2. The Research Council in Rome announced on 23 October 1987 that new satellite
measurements restored Everest to primacy at 8863 m 29,078 ft, and put K2 down to 8607 m
Tallest Cave: The tallest cave column is considered to be
the Flying Dragon Pillar, 39 m 128 ft high, in Nine Dragons Cave (Daji Dong), Guizhou,
River Bores: The bore on the Ch'ient'ang'kian
(Hang-chou-fe) in eastern China is the most remarkable of the 60 in the world. At spring
tides the wave attains a height of up to 7.5 m 25 ft and a speed of 13-15 knots 24-27
km/h. It is heard advancing at a range of 22 km 14 miles.
The highest unclimbed mountain is Namcha Barwa, in the
Great Bend of the Tsangpo, Brahmaputra, China (7782 m 25,531 ft).
Land remotest from the sea: The point of land remotest
from the sea is at Lat. 46ø 16.8' N, Long. 86ø 40.2' E in the Dzoosotoyn Elisen
(desert), northern Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu (Sin Kiang), China's most northwesterly
province. It was visited by Nicholas Crane and Dr Richard Crane (Great Britain) on 27 June
1986 and is at a straight-line distance of 2648 km 1,645 miles from the nearest open sea.
The large town most remote from the sea is Wu-lu-mu-chi
(formerly Urumqi) in Xinjiang (formerly Tihwa, Xinjiang), capital of the Uighur autonomous
region of China, at a distance of about 2500 km 1,400 miles from the nearest coastline.
Its population was estimated to be 947,000 in 1987.
The most populated country is China, which in pinyin is
written Zhongguo (meaning 'central land'). The census of July 1990 revealed a population
of 1,133,682,501, and involved 7 million census-takers. The rate of natural increase in
the People's Republic of China is now estimated to be 35,068 a day or 12.8 million per
year. India is set to overtake China in size of population by A.D. 2050, with 1,590
million against 1,554 million for China.
The most densely populated territory in the world is
Macau, on the southern coast of China. It has an estimated population of 479,000 (1988) in
an area of 16.9 square-km 6.5 square-miles giving a density of 28 343/square-km
Largest armed forces: China's People's Liberation
Army's strength in 1990 was estimated to be 3 030 0003.0 million (comprising land, sea and
air forces), with reductions continuing. Her reserves number around 1.2 million and her
paramilitary forces of armed and unarmed militias are estimated by the International
Institute for Strategic Studies, London, Great Britain at 'some 12 million.' Numerically
the largest regular armed force in the world is that of the USSR, with 3,988,000 (1990).
Most expensive: Prices for wild ginseng (root of Panax
quinquefolium), from the Chan Pak Mountain area of China, thought to have
aphrodisiac qualities, were reported in November 1979 to be as high as $23,000 per ounce
in Hong Kong. Total annual shipments from Jilin Province do not exceed 4 kg 140 oz a year.
A leading medical journal in the USA has likened its effects to 'corticosteroid
Rarest crocodilians: The total population of the
protected Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) of the lower Chang Jiang (Yangtze Kiang)
River of Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces, is currently estimated at 700-1,000
Highest living Mammals - Mammalia: The yak (Bos
grunniens), of Tibet and the Sichuanese Alps, China, occasionally climbs to an altitude of
6100 m 20,000 ft when foraging.
Longest feathers of birds: The central tail feathers of
the Reeves' pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesi) of central and northern China have exceptionally
reached 2.43 m 8 ft.
The largest species of amphibian is the Chinese giant
salamander (Andrias davidianus), which lives in northeastern, central and southern China.
The average adult measures 114 cm 3 ft 9 in in length and weighs 25-30 kg 55-66 lb. One
specimen collected in Hunan province measured 1.8 m 5 ft 11 in in length and scaled 65 kg
Longest Neck of Extinct Animals: The sauropod
Mamenchisaurus ('mamenchi lizard') of the Late Jurassic of Sichuan, China had the longest
neck of any animal that has ever lived. It measured 11 m 36 ft - half the total length of
Largest primate of Extinct Animals: The largest-known
primate was Gigantopithecus, of the Middle Pleistocene of what is now northern Vietnam and
southern China. Males would have stood an estimated 2.74 m 9 ft tall and weighed about 272
kg 600 lb. It is risky, however, to correlate tooth size and jaw depth of primates with
their height and body weight, and Gigantopithecus may have had a disproportionately large
head, jaws and teeth for his body size. The only remains that have been discovered so far
are three partial lower jaws and more than 1,000 teeth.
Tallest woman: The tallest woman in history was the
giantess Zeng Jinlian (b. 26 June 1964) of Yujiang village in the Bright Moon Commune,
Hunan Province, central China, who was 247 cm 8 ft 1 3/4in when she died on 13 February
1982. This figure, however, represented her height with assumed normal spinal curvature
because she suffered from severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and could not stand up
straight. She began to grow abnormally from the age of four months and stood 156 cm 5 ft 1
1/2 in before her fourth birthday and 217 cm 7 ft 1 1/2 in when she was 13. Her hands
measured 25.5 cm 10 in and her feet 35.5 cm 14 in in length. Both her parents and her
brother were of normal size. The giantess Ella Ewing (1875-1913) of Gorin, MO was billed
at 249 cm 8 ft 2 in, but this height was exaggerated. She measured 224 cm 7 ft 4 1/2 in at
the age of 23, and may have attained 228.6 cm 7 ft 6 in at the time of her death.
Largest rhododendron: The cross-section of the trunk of a
Rhododendron giganteum, reputedly 27.43 m 90 ft high, from Yunnan, China, is preserved at
Inverewe Gardens, Highland, Great Britain.