Time Zones in China – What to Know
We all know that Russia (俄国 – Éguó*) is the largest country in the world with approximately 17,098,242 square kilometers. It covers more than one-eighth of the Earths’ inhabited land and boasts an impressive 11 time zones (时区 – shíqū*). It’s neighbor China (中国 – Zhōngguó*) has with 9,596,960 square kilometers roughly the size of the continental United States (美国 – Měiguó*) and is approximately three times bigger than India (印度 – Yìndù*). Compared to Russia, it only boasts 8 different time zones, but it has only one official time zone: Běijīng (北京*) Standard Time (as it is referred to domestically) or China Standard Time (as it is referred to internationally).
*You can’t read Chinese characters and don’t know how to read these kinds of words we use in the brackets?
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Why does China has only one official time zone?
It simply has a historical reason:
After the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, the new Republic of China established 5 different time zones across the country. But in 1949, as the Communist Party gained control of the Country, Chairman Mao Zedong declared all of China would be on Beijing time, for the purposes of national unity.
How do Chinese provinces deal with time zones?
Well, for most people it is just a mild inconvenience, but in Xīnjiāng (新疆) is poses a proper problem.
For example, if you’re in the far west of China in the Xīnjiāng (新疆) province, you can enjoy a beautiful sunset at midnight in the summer. And in the winter you wake up with a sunrise at 10am.
Just imagine: If you want to make an appointment for a telephone, it doesn’t matter, if you are on the east coast in Běijīng (北京), or in the western part of China in Xīnjiāng (新疆). Even though there is essentially a 3 hour time difference, both parties will be at their desks to make a telephone call at the same time.
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