There is a lot to be said about China. There is even more written about China. And there is an infinite amount of things to know about China. So where do you begin? How about with some basic facts? Sometimes, numbers speak louder than words, so today is the first post in this new series on FaceToFace, China in Numbers. We’ll start this series with a collection of random facts and numbers, to give you a short yet wide introduction to China: the country, its people, and its culture. Most numbers come from two excellent Berkshire publications about China—the Berkshire Encyclopedia of China and This is China: The First 5000 years—and can also be found on our online publication ChinaConnectU. Now, let the numbers begin!
- China has a population of nearly 1.4 billion people
- The total area of China is 9,596,961 sq. kilometers (3,710,000 sq. miles)
- China has 22,117 kilometers (13,743 miles) of borders, bordering 14 countries
- The number four is considered an unlucky number in Chinese, because its pronunciation (sì 四) sounds similar to the word “death” (sǐ 死)
- In addition to the Hàn 汉 majority, China counts 55 officially recognized minorities (shǎoshù mínzú 少数民族)
- The longest river in China is the Yangzi (Yangtze) River (Cháng Jiāng 长江), flowing for roughly 6,400 kilometers (3,977 miles) from the Qinghai-Tibet plateau to the East China Sea near Shanghai
- China’s highest point is Mount Everest, at 8,850 meters (about 5.5 miles) above sea level, while its lowest point is Turpan Pendi (in North East China), at –154 meters (or –505 feet) below sea level
- Mohe (漠河, in the far Northeast of China), aptly called China’s “Arctic Village,” has seen the lowest temperature in China, –52.3ºC, or –62ºF
- During China’s 2000-year long imperial history, there were a total of 557 emperors (huángdì 皇帝)
- According to the current currency rate, 10 yuan 元 (the Chinese currency) equals 1.57 dollar, or 1.29 euro
Next week in China in Numbers: Chinese-style counting.