about China: World and Asia Records
civilization: China has a written history of 4,000
years, and one of the four oldest world civilizations.
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
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.
compass, paper making, gunpowder and printing.
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
for his bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity.
DANIEL C. TSUI:
1998 Nobel Laureate in Physics
1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics
LEE: 1986 Nobel
Laureate in Chemistry
contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary
1976 Nobel Laureate in Physics
LEE: 1957 Nobel
Laureate in Physics
for their penetratinginvestigation of the so-called parity
laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the
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.
World 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
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
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 the world.
Tower: highest in Asia
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 March 1986.
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 28,238 ft.
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, China.
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
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 143 lb.
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 the dinosaur.
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.