45 Interesting Facts About China

Last updated on April 4th, 2016

China, well known for its interesting culture, the Great Wall of China, eating with chopsticks, martial arts, and very weird characters for letters that only the Chinese and a handful other people can read. So, what more does this fascinating country have in store for us?

45 Interesting facts about China

Fact 1: Have you ever wondered where toilet paper came from? Well, you guessed right, it came from China.

Fact 2: About the toilet paper, it was not for everybody; only the emperor was allowed to use it.

Fact 3: Do you want to see crickets fight? Well, in China, cricket fighting is a popular amusement sport.

Fact 4: However big it is, all of China uses one time zone, something that is not expected for a country that big.

China on World Map
China on World Map

Fact 5: For soccer or football fans, depending where you come from, this one will interest you. Historians believe that the Chinese invented this favorite sport for many in 1000 B.C.

Fact 6: Apart from toilet papers, the Chinese invented paper, gunpowder, which is a well-known fact, the compass, and the art of printing.

Fact 7: For those history lovers who love knowing what the names of places mean, this one might be a nice fact for you. The word China is believed to have originated from Qin, which was the dynasty that ruled over the land from 221 B.C., to A.D. 1912.

Fact 8: For a linguist, this fact will be fascinating to you. The Chinese language is the longest language still in use in writing in the world.

Fact 9: So what is your hobby? Before you answer that, for a majority of the Chinese, their hobby is stamp collecting!

Fact 10: By the way, if you thought that stamp collecting is a lame hobby, you will be shocked to learn that in China, this lame hobby is viewed as a symbol of status. Interesting it is.

Fact 11: When you wear black as a sign of mourning, in China, they mourn in white.

Fact 12: Have you ever wondered how chopsticks came to be? Well, because of the need to conserve fuel during cooking, the Chinese chopped their food into small pieces eliminating the need for knives and thus the chopsticks were born.

Fact 13: One on the list of interesting China facts for kids revolves around their play toy, the kite. The Chinese invented the kite over 3,000 years ago, and they used it to frighten their enemies during the war!

Interesting facts about China: Kites
Interesting Facts About China: Kites from China

Fact 14: We can safely say that the Chinese were the first people to fly. If you doubt it, then you should know that by the fourth century A.D., the Chinese were using man-carrying tethered kites for flight.

Fact 15: Another on the list of interesting China facts for kids is the invention of ice cream. The Chinese invented it by simply mixing milk, rice, and snow.

Fact 16: The Chinese invented the water wheel in A.D. 31 and the Iron plow way long before the Europeans did it.

Fact 17: The Chinese are just amazing. They started drilling for natural gas before the 4th Century, 2,300 years before the Westerners.

Fact 18: The Chinese also invented some math concepts. They started using the decimal system in 14th century B.C., 2,300 years before the Europeans.

Fact 19: Do you know that tea was discovered by accident? A tea leaf accidentally fell into the emperor’s pot and voilà, the beautiful relationship between the Chinese and tea was born.

Fact 20: Do you know that cuteness can ward off evil? Well, this is according to the Chinese. In the early days, the Chinese emperors kept Giant Pandas as evil-warding charms.

Fact 21: By A.D. 130, the Chinese could detect earthquakes. This was through a device invented by an astronomer cum literary scholar named Zhang Heng.

Fact 22: Have you ever wondered where those breathtaking martial arts moves come from? Well, it is rumored that they were developed from hunting farming moves, and by the way, martial arts is practiced throughout China, so beware.

Fact 23: The Chinese love red. This color to them symbolizes happiness, and that is why it is commonly used in their festivals and most functions expressing Chinese culture.

Fact 24: By A.D. 1092, the Chinese already had a mechanical clock, which could tell time accurately.

Fact 25: Grow the nail of your small figure; it is a sign of rank. This was true in ancient China as wealthy men and women grew these nails and decorated them with gold for protection.

Fact 26: The Three Gorges Dam is the largest man-made dam in the world. It spans the Yangtze River.

The fact file - Three Gorges Dam, China.
Interesting Facts About China: Three Gorges Dam. Image credit – http://vizts.com/

Fact 27: In the ancient days, the easiest and surest way to die in China is to smuggle the secret of making silk. If you were caught doing this, you would be put to death.

Fact 28: By the way, the discovery of silk shares a similar story with tea. It is said that a silkworm cocoon fell into the emperor’s wife cup of hot tea and thus formed fine threads of silk.

Fact 29: The Chinese were the first to discover how blood circulates in the body in the 2nd century B.C. This is way long before the Europeans.

Fact 30: For archeologists, the remains of Peking Man or Homo Erectus were discovered in China.

Fact 31: China has the longest canal in the world. This canal is the Grand Canal of China.

Fact 32: Can you imagine wearing paper for clothing or light body armor? Well, this is how strong and durable ancient Chinese paper was.

Fact 33: The Chinese too have been to space. This happened on 27th September 2008 when the first Chinese named Zhi Zhigang walked in space.

Fact 34: And here is one of the interesting Chinese New Year facts. Do you know that all Chinese share a birthday? Well, according to them, on the New Year, every Chinese turns one year older thus their birthday celebration. This is why the Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China.

Fact 35: The Shanghai port of China played a major role in saving Jews during the Second World War. The reason being it was the first and only port to accept the entry of Jews without asking for a visa.

Fact 36: The Chinese were also the first to utilize the disastrous effects of gas in war. They did this 2000 years before its first use in the WWI.

Fact 37: Archery lovers know that your favorite toy; the crossbow was invented and first used by the Chinese.

Fact 38: Fortune cookies may sound Chinese, but they are not part of their culture. In fact, they were invented in 1920 in the USA.

Fact 39: For a long time, lanterns were a symbol of life and the family’s wealth. It is said that the wealthiest families had humongous lanterns that required a couple of people to lift up.

Fact 40: If you thought we were through with Chinese first, then you are wrong. The Chinese invented the suspension bridge in 25 B.C. Compared to when the westerners built the first one; the Chinese were ahead by 1,800 years.

Fact 41: Keep on fearing bats, but for the Chinese, the bat is a symbol of good luck.

Fact 42: The Chinese might have also been the first to ride a horse.

Fact 43: The Chinese list of olds and first is not yet through. The Lunar Calendar is the oldest calendar in the world dating back to 2600 B.C. It also takes 60 years to complete.

Fact 44: You had to be a poet during the Tang Dynasty. This only applied to those who are educated. It was required that educated people greet each other with a poem that has been composed on the spot!

Fact 45: The tomb of Qin, the first emperor who is accredited for uniting China, was discovered in 1974. His tomb contained poems, thousands of life-sized soldiers, chariots, and horses.

Quick facts about China

Independence1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established)
Capital CityBeijing
(39°55′N 116°23′E)
Largest CityShanghai
(31.2000° N, 121.5000° E)
Total area9,596,960 sq km
Population1,373,541,278 (July 2016 est.)
Official LanguageStandard Chinese
BordersNorth Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam
CurrencyRenminbi (yuan)(¥) (CNY)
ReligionBuddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism
Life expectancy75.5 Years (2016)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climateextremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrainmostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Natural resourcescoal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest), arable land
Agricultural land54.7%
Birth rate12.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate7.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio1.06 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Literacy rate96.4%
National anthem"Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)
National symboldragon
National colorsred, yellow
Government typecommunist state
Party General Secretary and PresidentXi Jinping
PremierLi Keqiang
Industriesworld leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites
Exports$2.098 trillion (2016 est.)
electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles, integrated circuits
Imports$1.587 trillion (2016 est.)
electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels; nuclear reactor, boiler, and machinery components; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans
GDP - per capita (PPP)$14,600 (2016 est.)
Internet country code.cn
Time ZoneChina Standard Time (UTC+8)
Calling Code+86
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedAugust 25, 2017


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