As China has transitioned into a world superpower, the Middle Kingdom has taken centre stage on the world’s media platform, particularly in light of recent growing tensions with the US. This article translated from wenxuecity.com explores some incredible facts about the world’s most populous country.
China's enormous population and massive size makes it so that its industrial production and consumption of natural resources are alarmingly high. An American website recently listed 16 shocking facts about China's impact on the surrounding environment.
1) China consumes nearly 80 billion pairs of disposable chopstick annually. In order to meet the Chinese demand for chopsticks, nearly ten million trees are cut down every year. The trees that are used are about 20 years old. (Source: South China Morning Post)
2) China has a total of 93,000 kilometers of railway, including railways that are currently under construction. This means that China's total combined stretch of railway could circle the Earth twice, as the length of the equator itself is about 4 million kilometers. (Source: BAML)
3) China's coal reserves are equal to the weight of 575 million blue whales, a total of 115 billion tons or a third of the world's proven coal reserves. The blue whale is the heaviest animal on the planet and can weigh up to 200 tons. China's total coal production amounts to about 46 percent of world production and its consumption equals 49 percent of world consumption. (Source: Global Post)
4) In the past two years, China has produced more cement than the United States produced throughout the entire 20th century. China is by far the world's largest cement producer and produces and consumes about 60 percent of the world's cement. (Source: Financial Times)
5) 1 million Chinese people die from smoking every year, more than the entire population of Cyprus, an island in the eastern Mediterranean. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2050, Chinese deaths due to smoking will reach 3 million per year. (Source: Bloomberg Business Week)
6) China's natural gas reserves are equal to 1.24 billion Olympic sized swimming pools. China has proven natural gas resources of 109.3 trillion cubic feet and is number 13 in the world for amount of natural gas resources. An Olympic sized swimming pool has a volume of about 88,000 cubic feet. (Source: BP)
7) In 2011, China consumed enough instant noodles to feed the entire population of Algeria. That year, China consumed 425 billion packs of instant noodles. The total population of Algeria is 38,700,000. (Source: BAML)
8) China consumes enough pork annually to be equal to the weight of 5,200 Eiffel Towers. In 2011, China consumed 51.6 million tons of pork and 52 million tons in 2012. According to reports, the Eiffel Tower weighs about 10,000 tons. (Source: Rabobank)
9) The 20 richest people in China have a combined total worth of $145.1 billion in assets. This figure is even higher than the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Hungary. Hungary's GDP is about $124 billion. (Source: Forbes Magazine)
10) Over 30,000,000 Chinese people live in caves, a figure equal to the total population of Saudi Arabia. In Shaanxi, China, many people still live in caves, and when President Xi Jinping was getting “educated” as a youth he also lived in a cave. (Source: Los Angeles Times)
11) China's famous “sock town,” in Datang, Zhuji, Zhejiang province, produces nearly 8 billion pairs of socks every year. In 2011, this figure was equivalent to the entire world's population. (Source: The Guardian)
12) China's suicide rate is more than twice that of the United States. Out of 100,000 Chinese people, 22.2 die from committing suicide, while in the United States, the number is 10.3 out of 100,000 people. (Source: World Health Organization/ AFP)
13) China's total land area is similar to that of the United States; however, China only has one time zone. Under the Nationalist Party, the nation was divided into five time zones, however the People's Republic of China changed it to create a unified time zone. This means that in winter in some places the sun does not rise until 10:00 AM. (Source: Atlantic News)
14) China has 7 percent of the world's arable land and a quarter of the world's population. China's agricultural production has tripled since 1978 and livestock production has increased five-fold. (Source: Mother Jones)
15) China's total consumption expenditure will increase to three times its current amount by 2020. China's total consumption expenditure is expected to grow from $2.03 trillion in 2010 to $6.18 trillion in 2020. China's total luxury goods spending will be $245 billion and it will become the world's largest consumer of luxury goods. (Source: Boston Consulting Agency)
16) China is the world's largest consumer of pork and consumes half of the world's pork. Production of pigs in China has reached 475 million, which accounts for half of world production. (Source: U.S. Earth Policy Institute)
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Keywords: China’s economy production and natural resources China’s Economy Natural Resources in China
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Most Chinese tend to ignore red light traffic sign, they usually cross the road the way they want! One day I asked a Chinese taxi driver, why most Chinese do that, he told me that most Chinese do crazy things because of eating to much pork and that make them to behave like pigs! hahaaaa
Jun 10, 2014 23:24 Report Abuse
Shocking or just plain nonsense? Facts 1 and 2, see Sjama's comment. Has the article been edited already? Fact 3. Let's compare China's coal reserves to dragonflies instead of whales. Astonishing! Fact 4. Anyone here can see that cement is very, very popular in Chinese construction. Fact 5. See ou812's comment. Has the article been edited already? Fact 6. China is the 3rd largest country in the world and has the 13th largest natural gas resources. So? Fact 7. Compare fact 3, let's feed the entire population of Luxembourg this time. Fact 8, see fact 16. Fact 9, see fact 10. Fact 10. The gap between poor and rich in China is so wide it could contain 60000 Grand Canyons, or 5 x 10^47 apples and oranges. Fact 16. 99% of the world's Muslims live outside China and 99% of those don't eat pork. Sources vary but there are between 1.6 - 2 billion Muslims in this world. Leaving about 5 billion pork-eaters, a quarter of which lives in China and consumes half of the world's pork. Which happens to be the cheapest meat, see fact 10 once again. Well, the only superpower here is the 10^47 and I made that one up myself. Thanks for your sloppy journalism.
Jun 10, 2014 20:21 Report Abuse
Fact one: 80million pair of chopsticks requires almost 10million trees, so one with the weight of a few 100kg only can produce 8 pairs of 2g chopsticks? Even if it includes non-disposable ones, then still, you don't need 10million trees. Fact two: 9.3million km of railway is twice the equator? The equator is just above 40thousand km. Probably the value should be in metres.
Jun 10, 2014 18:13 Report Abuse
China has more children under 18 than the population of the United States. Zhejiang Province has 10 million more people than the state of California, The USA most populous state. Imagine California plus another Los Angeles, it is that big. China is only 70th (or so) in population density. This is because the western half of the nation is much more sparsely populated. Henan Province, China's most populous province has more people than the nation of Vietnam. China has 200 cities with over a million people. USA has 10. Ever hear of the city of Jinhua? It's in Zhejiang and has the population of Dallas, Texas. More people live in China than in South America. All of South America.
Jun 10, 2014 15:06 Report Abuse
According to the opening sentence China has transformed itself into a world superpower. Really? I would dispute that strongly. What China has done is spend one hell of a lot of money, that does not make it a superpower. Historically most of the western European countries could lay claim to that title at some point in time. These countries were seen as centres of industry, innovation and culture. People from other countries wanted what they had to offer and wanted to immigrate into those countries. During the 20th century America has taken on that role and aspects of American culture are now seen worldwide and actively sought after. America built its success on being an open country, open to immigration and open to new ideas. All of these countries have provided first rate educational facilities, good health care systems, safety and quality standards, effective legal systems that provide for everyone and various forms of social security for the old and the poor. Being a superpower is about a lot more than just spending money and in these other areas China has a long, long way to go. Where are the people queing up to come and live here, where is the globally recognised health systems, where are the world renowned universities. Do not try and convince us of how wonderful China is, we know different. China is a third world country that is making progress rapidly but it has a long way to go. Until the government ceases to be afraid of giving its people real education and until the people cease this idea of "this is China what can you do" very little will change. Will China ever be a superpower in the real sense, I am not sure. Come back in another hundred years and it might make it but I do not see it happening any day soon.
Jun 10, 2014 11:34 Report Abuse
Yeah, that number is a gross extrapolation, of the type "so, N more people died of smocking last year compared to the year before, so in X years, it will N times X death". In a hundred years, billions of people will die of smocking, with a population of 0 :D
Jun 10, 2014 09:45 Report Abuse
Dumbass how you concluded that entire country will be dead in 4 years? If starting from my birth I save 1 coin every year..that mean on my 25th birthday i ll be having 25 coins...it doesn't mean after 4 year when i am 29 i will have 100 coins.. You must be an English teacher...good for nothing..
Jun 10, 2014 11:34 Report Abuse
I agree that the numbers look and sound impressive. Perhaps it would be very useful for us to "stand back" a little, and add a little population perspective. China's current estimated population is around 1.35 billion. Yes, Billion with a "B". Given the amount of resources that "the west" ploughed it's way through, with a fraction of that population, during the "industrial revolution" and the post WWII boom, I think the China's growth "pangs", delayed some 40-50 years from "the west", are on par with what one would expect. Yes, China is a large "consumer" of resources. And yes, there is an amount of wastage that is unpleasant and avoidable. But anybody who thinks hauling a Billion+ people from subsistence, farming-style living to the "modern age" is easy, clean and fast, needs a reality check. Despite many missteps, I think China is no better or worse than any "western" country given the circumstances, and indeed I think China will do better, because she can look to the mistakes that the west made during it's rise to ascendancy. Of course, being aware of another's mistakes and choosing not to make the same choices are two different things... I really hope China can get the bit between her teeth and begin to seriously address some of the missteps in her growth. The 21st century is well within the reach of China to make it the "Chinese century", as much as America made the 20th century the "American century".
Jun 10, 2014 05:55 Report Abuse
Hum... You have to live in China and see for yourself. Things tend to be done in very, very inefficient ways, and very loose rule of the law compound the problem. Size is given as the common reason, but that's a convenient way to look-away. For example, buildings are not insulated *at all* in more than half the country. So the in winter, buildings are as cold as outside, and in summer, as hot as outside. People have now the money to run air-con. But it's extraordinarily energy-hungry due to lack of insulation. And this energy is made with coal-fired plants that run with no exhaust filtering, and the coal is not pre-processed to reduce sulfur emissions. There are laws about pollution, but inspectors simply sell themselves and shut-up when they get there red envelope.
Jun 10, 2014 09:42 Report Abuse