China is big. It is the 3rd largest country in the world when all its disputed territories are included, the 4th if not.
It has 3,705,676 square miles, about 9,596,960 square kilometers with a land border of 13,759 miles (22,143 kilometers). It's the largest country in Asia, bordered by 14 countries.
When it comes to time , China spans across five different standard time zones out of the 40 on land, from UTC+05:00 in the west to UTC+09:00 in the east.
UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time. It is also called Zulu time, which is used everywhere on Earth by astronomers and others who need to state the time of an event unambiguously.
A time zone is a region on Earth that has a uniform, legally mandated standard time. Before 1972, all time zones were specified as an offset from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is the mean solar time in Greenwich, London, United Kingdom. Now many countries define their standard time relative to UTC, although some still refer to GMT, such as the United Kingdom.
China in the world
China Time Zones: defined in 1948. Outer Mongolia was included in this map.
Although China has five time zones, a single standard time at UTC+08:00 has been used since 1949. It is the standard time of the second time zone from the right as shown on the map above.
The reason why UTC+08:00 was chosen as China's standard time in the first place is because that Bejing, the capital city of China, is within this time zone.
UTC+08:00 is called Beijing Time within China, though it is commonly referred to as China Standard Time (CST) internationally.
Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are also within this time zone. So this standard time is called Hong Kong Time in Hong Kong, Macau Standard Time in Macau and National Standard Time (or Chungyuan Standard Time, Central Standard Time, Taiwan Standard Time) in Taiwan.
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