Sunday, 5 June 2011


I came across a report in an American journal proclaiming "The Top 10 Most Interesting Things you didn't know about China" a while ago, it was full of completely biased anti China rhetoric. So I thought I would have my own attempt and removed those facts that were so obviously catered for the American audience the report served – when I say this I don’t mean that American media outlets are the only ones to slant the news in favour of government policy, fuel common misrepresentation or pander to racism and protectionism, most countries media outlets do the same, Christ I am living with a media industry so strangled by government intervention and control, that its radio and TV Show's go out with a 10 second delay (even the ‘live’ shows) so that the media Gestapo can pull the plug if they hear something even mildly subversive.
The key is having the ability to recognise that you are being herded like sheep into an alley of deceit and conformism.

Strengthening misconceptions and reinforcing outdated stereotypes are how governments keep us all in line, scared and sedate. I remember being asked to join a BBC radio 4 interview about the rise, and rise of China, naively I said “Yes”, as I thought it may be a light hearted review of the incredible successes and growth China has seen over recent years – to my surprise the commentators seemed more interested in discussing the potential threat China posed to ‘World Peace’ (whatever that is) due to it having the worlds largest army, and fastest growing navy and air force, they intimated that its global financial and physical dominance will soon grind us all into a pulp. I was shocked I have to admit, and whilst I have no doubt at all that China will soon become the most powerful country on earth, this will be done completely passively and mainly fuelled by the West’s greed for cheap goods rather than China’s appeal for world dominance. China is a country with some desperate social, environmental and economical disasters looming ahead, it is struggling enough to understand how it can manage these, let alone worry about invading Poland.

Off the soap box, and back to the blog, I want to list the Top X most amazing incredible slightly interesting facts that you may not know about China. The first thing to say that with a population nearing 1.4 billion people, everything is the largest, smallest, fattest, thinnest, oldest, most expensive and most contagious etc. that’s all a given, so I have tried to avoid these and concentrate on the ones that may make you say “Oh I didn’t know that?”, please tell me how I get on.

Chinese men outnumber women by 39 million, or to look at it another way, more than the population of Canada. Can imagine the school dances? For every 114 desperate teenage boys there would only be a 100 probably not so desperate girls!This is thanks to both a culture that rates boys over girls and a one child policy which drives selective abortions based on gender, which in turn leads Chinese women to abort more than 15 million children (mainly girls) each year, or to look at it another way the population of the top 10 largest cities in Canada.
Read more@

If he spent his ENTIRE YEARLY INCOME on housing, the average Beijing resident could buy 10 square feet of residential property.
A square meter of residential property in Beijing costs an average of 26,000 yuan (US$3,800), but the average per capita monthly income is only 2,000 yuan. Yet the property Market is booming and prices continue to rise seemingly uncontrollably. The government has imposed taxes on larger properties, but still those that are rich, ARE VERY RICH and have been buying vast acres of property, speculating that the growth will continue unabated.

China has enough pigs for each person in the USA, Canada, UK, France and German to have one each, and more than the next 43 pork producing countries combined

That's a lot of pigs trotters.

Chinese consume 3 million cigarettes every minute or 2 trillion every year. With 2/3rds of Chinese males inhaling their way through 30% of the worlds tobacco supplies. All of this smoking not only has an effect on the colour of taxi drivers fingers, it also leads to 1,000,000 people dying each year from smoking related disease, a figure that is expected to increase to over 3 million by 2050 as the rapid increase in smoking starts to kick in.
On May 1st smoking was banned from all indoor public places, of course most people are either completely unaware of this or couldn't care less, probably because there is no penalty for getting caught and still no legal age on buying cigarettes. The fact that the tax on smoking makes more than $30 billion for the communist party each year, some 7% of the total tax revenue for the country, maybe why the government isn't too keen to curb this form of population control just yet.

Although Mandarin is the official language, there are 292 individual languages still spoken in China. This is even more than the 175 languages spoken in the world's melting pot, America. Mandarin itself contains almost 20,000 characters, although the average Chinese person learns only about 5,000 of these in his lifetime - still this isn't proving a problem as China has more English speakers than the United States.

There are already more Christians in China than Italy, and it's on track to become the largest centre of Christianity in the world
Due to the extremely rapid expansion of Christianity in China, there are now an estimated 54 million Christians in the country comprised of about 40 million Protestants and 14 million Catholics.
Meanwhile, Italy has just 60 million people in total, of which only 79% are Christian these days. Which means Italy has 47.4 million Christians, a full 12% less than China. It's partly because 16% of Italians are now irreligious.
Moreover, China's Christian population is set to grow far more rapidly than Italy's, or even much of the world's, despite this as a percentage of the population (3%) you would find it hard to bump into one, and is probably why;

Chinese are far more likely to believe in evolution than Americans.
"Only Russia (48%), USA (42%), South Africa (41%) and Egypt (25%) remained skeptical about the scientific evidence that exists to support Darwin’s theory.
The results also show that a significant proportion of those people surveyed in the USA, South Africa and India (43%) believe that all life on Earth, including human life, has always existed in its current form.
Whereas 67% of Chinese believe that life on earth, including human life has been created by a system of natural selection.

However the main thing the Chinese believe in is money, and any one arriving at night and waking up in one of Shanghais five star hotels could be forgiven for thinking that they have landed in Rodeo Drive rather than Nanjing Lu, the streets are lined with Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Montblanc, Vesace and Cartier stores and the roads full of BMW 7 Series, Porsche Cayenne and Range Rovers. The display of wealth is incredible, for a laugh I once counted how many Porsche Cayenne's I would pass (or be passed) by on my way into the city center from my home - a journey of 17km, I counted 26! In every colour, shade and engine type. So why then is China's GDP per capita is the 94th-lowest in the world, below Angola and Libya? Well the chasm between those that have and those that don't is enormous, measured by the Gini Coefficient, China stands at around 0.48 up from 0.16 in 1978. The figure would be zero if wealth were perfectly shared out and 1.0 if it were in one person's hands.
Li Shi, an economist at Beijing Normal University and a prominent expert on the issue, said survey samples under-count poor rural migrants and the wealth of China's elite. He put the true Gini Coefficient at 0.53. That is to say that the 3000 $billionaires and 1 million, millionaires keep all of the money to themselves, only sharing what they have to on luxury cars, handbags and property!

Finally (I have hundreds more of these)
In China, an estimated 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are used and thrown away annually. This adds up to 1.7 million cubic metres of timber or 25 million fully grown trees every year, or about the same area as Belgium every year - if this is the case why do I always get dirty 2nd (or possibly 3rd, 4th or 15th) hand plastic ones in restaurants?

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