10 Things You Didnt Know About China

China is an extremely singular country simultaneously admired as an economic juggernaut and criticized for its human rights abuses and prickly foreign policy China is a difficult country to generalize the world's largest nation by population home to gorgeous wildlife fascinating history and controversial political ideology China is hard to understand from an outsider's perspective so today we're exploring amazing facts about China in China calling someone a caveman shouldn't be taken as an insult in fact Mao Zedong lived in a cave before becoming the country's leader today many Chinese people still live in caves and we aren't talking about just one or two people according to the LA Times at least 30 million people and possibly closer to 40 million Chinese currently live in caves which are energy efficient and have a low environmental impact each of the Shaanxi province is caves typically has a long volted room dug into the side of the mountain with a semicircular entrance covered with rice paper or colorful quilts people hang decorations on the walls often a portrait of mounts at home or a photograph of a movie star torn out of a glossy magazine the better caves protrude from the mountain and are reinforced with brick masonry some are connected laterally so a family can have several chambers electricity and even running water can be brought in it's energy-efficient the farmers can save their arable land for planting if they build their houses in the slope it doesn't take much money or skill to build said Luo Japan director of the green architecture Research Centre in Xi'an and perhaps the leading expert on cave living then again it doesn't suit modern complicated lifestyles very well people want to have a fridge washing machine and television very few countries actually continue to put their own citizens to death most people believe that the death penalty is a barbaric remnant of a less ethical era for countries Saudi Arabia Iraq Pakistan and Iran were responsible for 84 percent of executions in 2017 however China still kills more of its own citizens than every other country combined it's well-known that China does not appreciate dissent and they are not afraid to execute their own citizens without a fair trial through put it in perspective the global total of executions is around 2,000 people annually China executed a tragic 12,000 people in 2002 alone though that number has allegedly gone down in recent years China stopped releasing official statistics and many people believe that there are quietly continuing their bloody tradition there are even reports of a death bus which drives around the country and kills prisoners quickly before driving to its next victim as if this couldn't get any more sinister the Chinese government is responsible for widespread forced organ harvesting and many people believe that their increased capital punishment is meant to fuel the 1 billion dollar industry some of the more than 1 and a half million detainees in Chinese prison camps are being killed for their organs to serve a booming Transplant trade that is worth some 1 billion dollars a year as concluded by the China tribunal an independent body tasked with investigating organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in the authoritarian state forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale the tribunal concluded in its final judgment in 2019 the practice is of unmatched wickedness on a death for death basis with the killings by mass crimes committed in the last century it added the tribunal said many of those affected were practitioners of Falun Gong a spiritual discipline that China banned in the 1990s and has called an evil cult the tribunal added that it was possible that wig and Muslims an ethnic minority who are currently being detained in vast numbers in western China were also being targeted access to safe and clean water is essential to human health therefore it's no surprise that the public concern over drinking water safety has risen sharply in recent years following a number of water pollution incidents The Guardian released a new water quality report which found water pollution levels in China's major cities is extremely high in Beijing 39.9% of water was so polluted that it was essentially functionless in Tianjin northern China's principal port city and home to 15 million people a mere four point nine percent of water is usable as a drinking water source one reason for this is that local governments have too often failed to crack down on polluting industries in 2011 reports emerge that said Lu Leung chemical industry in Yunnan Province and disposed of 5000 tons of chemical waste next to a river used as a drinking water source according to local residents more than 140 thousand tons of waste had already accumulated over 22 years the nationwide standards for the treatment of sewage are also far from sufficient despite some improvements in recent years wastewater water which has been used in the home in a business or as part of an industrial process and may now contain hazardous materials remains a major pollution source particularly in urban centers so next time you're in China be sure to pack a water filter or prepare to buy bottled water some days the Sun doesn't come up until 10 a.m. or later people eat lunch after 2 p.m. or even after 4 if they're not in a rush the school day stretches so late that children can't get home in time to catch their favorite cartoon shows this is because China the fourth largest country by landmass functions with only one timezone measuring around 4,800 kilometers from its western border shared with Pakistan to the East China Sea in the East China covers more than sixty degrees of longitude incorporating five ideal time zones into one it's no secret that China has the largest population of any country on Earth the 1.4 billion strong populous is equivalent to 18 point 47 percent of the total world population that means that almost one in every five people on earth are Chinese in addition this massive population is crammed into numerous mega cities 94% of the population lives on a landmass equal to 43 percent of China for years China's ruling Communist Party implemented a series of policies intended to slow the growth of the world's most populous nation including limiting the number of children couples could have to one the long-term effects of those policies mean the country will soon enter an era of negative growth or a contraction in the size of the total population this is good news from an overpopulation standpoint but China faces a serious lack of working-age citizens to support their aging retirees and pensioners the government has recognized this war isom demographic trend and in 2013 began easing enforcement of the one-child policy in certain circumstances it then raised the limit to two children for all families in 2016 in hopes of encouraging a baby boom however people were too accustomed to having one child and the population has not increased the Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest hydropower project and most notorious dam the massive project sets records for the number of people displaced with more than 1.2 million the number of cities and towns flooded with 13 cities 140 towns 1,350 villages and length of a reservoir with more than 600 kilometers the project has been plagued by corruption spiraling costs environmental impacts human rights violations and resettlement difficulties the dam which is equal in size to the entire Kingdom of Bahrain is allegedly so big that it actually slowed the rotation of the earth when the Three Gorges Dam was built 39 trillion kilograms of water from the Yangtze River built up behind it to 175 metres above sea level this alter the Earth's moment of inertia ever so slightly causing the rotation to move more slowly this is the same principle behind wife figure skaters tuck in their arms to spend faster in the year since its completion the dam has created numerous landslides and destroyed many ecosystems in addition to displacing millions of people who called the gorgeous home for millennia the Three Gorges Dam is a model for disaster yet Chinese companies are replicating this model both domestically and internationally China is training 10,000 messenger pigeons to deliver vital military communications in the event of the country's communication systems breaking down according to the chinese state media the pigeons are being trained by a special unit of the People's Liberation Army in the central city of Chengdu they will be primarily called upon to conduct special military missions between troops stationed at our borders set Qian Hong and air force expert to China Central Television the state broadcaster in modern warfare the pigeon is indispensable he added there are as many military pigeons as there are soldiers in the Swiss Army for example Qian Qiang tell the officer responsible for the pigeon army said the birds were the most practical and effective short and medium distance tool for communications if there is electromagnetic in difference or a collapse in our signals pigeons are an important part of the military because they cannot be hacked and are difficult to intercept pigeons are also valuable on the private market and usually sell for thousands of dollars it's hard to say how old Chinese culture actually is but it's one of the oldest that still has a presence in the modern world legends claimed that the earliest rulers in China with a Shia dynasty from 2100 to 1600 BC with you as the first emperor but there is little proof that the dynasty actually existed the first historically verifiable period came in 1700 to 1046 BC the Shang Dynasty was the first Chinese state for which clear written records remain it's United much of north central China from 2000 BC to nineteen hundred and eleven a.d china underwent 83 dynasties and 559 emperors by comparison their current government which was founded in 1949 as barely existed for any time at all since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 China has entered a communist era of stability with the reform and opening-up policy of 1978 bringing in China's phenomenal economic growth in addition to severe human rights and environmental violations there is a myth that the Great Wall of China no doubt one of humanity's greatest architectural accomplishments is visible from space this is false say astronauts and remote sensing specialists although the great wall spans some 7,200 kilometers it's constructed from materials that make it difficult to discern from space the unglamorous truth is that the wall is only visible from low orbit under a specific set of weather and lighting conditions and many other structures that are less spectacular from an earthly vantage point desert roads for example appear more prominent from an orbital perspective misinformation about the barriers visibility dates back decades a 1932 Ripley's Believe It or Not cartoon claimed that the wall is the mightiest work of man the only one that would be visible to the human eye the moon this belief persisted into the space age since Neil Armstrong returned from the moon in 1969 he has been repeatedly asked whether he could see it all of the major American social media outlets and search engines Facebook Instagram Twitter snapchat and Google are banned in China there are rough Chinese facts similes but of course they are highly sensitive well months of unrest in Hong Kong have caused concern in mainland China where news about the pro-democracy protests has been carefully filtered out of social media it's common for social media companies in China to remove content that is perceived to be threatening to social stability or the ruling Communist Party beijing-based journalist and writer Caroline Kahn says that because people can get into trouble with the authorities by posting sensitive words some users have found creative ways to get around the censors despite the ban China still factors into the equation for US companies Facebook for example saw an estimated five billion dollars in ad revenue from Chinese based companies in 2018 making the country the company's second-largest ad market according to adage that firewall isn't impenetrable either as some Chinese citizens have found ways to circumvent blocks on websites by using Virtual Private Networks [Music]