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- China manufactures more than 70 percent of
the world’s toys.
- China produces more than half of all the world’s
- In 2002, 60 percent of all Internet spam originated
- By 2007, there will be more websites written
in Chinese than in any other language.
- China’s three most popular surnames—Li,
Wang and Zhang—are shared by 270 million Chinese, equal
to the entire population of the United States.
- More than 200 million people in China are studying
English. English is a compulsory subject for all Chinese primary
- Beijing is expanding its National Library to
make it the third largest in the world (after the Library of
Congress and the British Library) and the biggest in Asia. The
National Library was established inside a temple in 1909.
- More copies of The Quotations of Chairman Mao
have been sold than any book except the Bible.
- At the end of the 18th century, China accounted
for one-third of the world’s population and nearly half
of its wealth.
- Imperial China’s achievements include
the invention of paper, movable type, the compass, the first
ocean-going vessels and gunpowder.
- China’s foreign exchange reserves stand
at more than US$350 billion.
- Olympic diver Fu Mingxia became the youngest
world sporting champion at age 12 in 1991. This record is unlikely
to be broken since the minimum age for major competitions is
- The five gold stars on the Chinese flag represent
the five major ethnic groups of China. The large gold star symbolizes
the Han majority, and the four smaller stars represent the Manchurian,
Mongolian, Tibetan, and Muslim ethnic groups. The scarlet field
of the flag symbolizes the huge number of lives sacrificed in
the Communist revolution.
- The number of vehicles on Beijing’s traffic-choked
roads has surpassed two million, meaning there is one car-owner
for every four residents in the capital. The number of vehicles
in Beijing rose from 2,300 in 1979 to one million in 1997.
- More than 320 million people in China smoke—equal
to the smoking population of all developed countries combined.
- Tobacco accounts for 70 percent of the income
of the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan.
- The annual value of the global traditional
medicine market is US$10 billion. Although the earliest recorded
use of herbal medicine is in China, the PRC accounts for only
3 percent of the international traditional medicine market.
- China’s biggest box office hit to date
is the Hollywood blockbuster Titanic, which took in ¥320
million (US$38.6 million).
- There are more than 117 males born in China
for every 100 females. Worldwide, the ratio is between 105 and
107 males to 100 females. In some rural areas in China, there
are twice as many boys born as girls. Twenty years ago, the
male-female birth ratio in China was comparable to the global
- Discrimination in favor of male offspring has
greatly increased since the introduction of the one-child policy
in 1982. Despite laws banning the practice, many women undergo
ultrasound scans and abort the fetus if it is believed to be
- Boys have been traditionally favored in Chinese
families because they carry on the family name, are seen as
having greater earning potential and will be able to provide
for their parents in old age.
- The skewed gender ratio means that by 2020,
there could be 100 million mainland bachelors.
- In poverty-stricken rural China, 80 percent
of trafficked babies are girls. The rest are boys with a health
problem or deformity.
- Suicide accounts for 3.6 percent of the total
annual deaths in China. It is the fifth major killer, behind
cranial vascular disease, bronchitis, liver cancer and pneumonia.
Suicide is the number one killer among people aged 15-34. The
female suicide rate is 25 percent higher than the male rate.
- Ten percent of men in China—most of them
affluent—report that they frequent prostitutes. Most of
the sex is unprotected.
- China has more than 10,000 orphans, aged 15
and under, who have lost their parents to AIDS.
- Experts believe the number of HIV sufferers
in China exceeds 1.5 million, and the UN says the number could
soar to 10 million by 2010 if the government does not do more
to contain the disease.
- Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death
through infection in China, with about 5 million infected people
and 130,000 TB deaths each year.
- Less than 10 percent of high school graduates
in China are admitted to a university.
- China has less than 1,000 institutions of higher
- The traditional Chinese wedding gift is still
cash, stuffed in red envelopes which are discreetly slipped
to the couple then counted behind closed doors.
- In the early 1970s, Chairman Mao Zedong ordered
a six-door stretch limousine to be built to show his confidence
in China’s fledgling auto industry. The super-long Red
Flag limousine, complete with refrigerator, desk and double
sofa bed, was the first and last produced by the First Automobile
- China has an average of six policemen for every
10,000 residents, a quarter of the ratio in the United States.