Facts and figures about China

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
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Trip End Dec 31, 2011


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Flag of China  ,
Sunday, March 1, 2009

From Harper's magazine database:

1/00Number of ships that sailed in the first expedition of Cheng Ho, the 15th-century Chinese explorer: 287
Fernández-Armesto, Millennium

Minimum number of countries Cheng Ho visited over the course of his seven voyages: 30
Fernández-Armesto, Millennium

1/00Number of years after Jews settled in China that they were first allowed to live in Russian territory: 1,045
Ellen Cogen, Jewish Theological Seminary (N.Y.C.)

1/00Number of Chinese engineers who accompanied the Mongol Khan Hulägu on his siege of Baghdad in 1257: 1,000
Fernández-Armesto, Millennium

1/00Year in which China introduced the first paper currency: 1022
Mark Elvin, The Pattern of the Chinese Past, Stanford University Press (Stanford, Calif.)

11/00Number of bears bred for their bile at China's 247 licensed bear farms in 1998: 6,764
International Fund for Animal Welfare (Beijing)

11/00Rank of the China National Petroleum Corporation among companies with the largest stake in the Sudanese oil industry: 1
Energy Intelligence Group (N.Y.C.)

12/00Number of Falun Gong members arrested in China who have died in, en route to, or shortly after their release from prison: 53
Amnesty International (London)

2/00Days after China announced it would begin acquiring offensive weapons that it was accepted into the WTO last fall: 7
Center for Defense Information (Washington)

2/00Maximum range at which China North Industries' new "portable laser disturber" can "injure or dizzy the eyes," in miles: 6
China North Industries Corp. (Beijing)/Human Rights Watch (Washington)

4/00Maximum tonnage by which pollution reduced China's potential annual wheat production between 1994 and 1996: 10,000
Prof. Bill Chameides, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)

Tons of wheat China imported during this period: 10,000
Prof. Bill Chameides, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)

6/00Portion of California's revenue between 1852 and 1870 composed of taxes paid by Chinese laborers: 1/2
Professor Ronald Takaki, University of California (Berkeley)

8/00Amount by which last year's WTO accord is projected to increase annual U.S. grain sales to China: $1,000,000,000
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Percentage of last year's U.S. grain sales to the European Union this represents: 96
U.S. Department of Agriculture

9/00Ratio of Motorola's commercial sales in China last year to the value of its U.S. defense contracts: 3:1
Motorola, Inc. (Schaumburg, Ill.)

9/00Ratio of Lockheed Martin's 1999 sales to the $13 million fine it will pay for giving secret technology to China: 1,962:1
Lockheed Martin Corporation (Bethesda, Md.)/U.S. Department of State

10/01Chances that a state execution carried out last year took place in China: 7 in 10
Amnesty International (Washington)

11/01Number of sparrows requested by Chinese farmers in September to help end a plague of locusts: 20,000
Xinhua News Service (Beijing)

2/01Number of poets scheduled to attend a literary conference in China last year before the government banned it: 200
Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy (Hong Kong)

5/01Factor by which the cost of China's Three Gorges Dam is expected to exceed its original $4.5 billion budget: 16
International Rivers Network (Berkeley, Calif.)

Estimated number of people who will be displaced by the dam's construction: 1,900,000
International Rivers Network (Berkeley, Calif.)

6/01Percentage change since 1995 in carbon emissions by the United States and China, respectively: +6, -15
World Resources Institute (Washington)

10/02Size in acres of a billboard that a Chinese town is constructing next to its ancient giant Buddha: 10
Agence France-Presse, 6/23/02

4/02Ratio of the President's proposed increase in U.S. military spending to China's total military budget in 2000: 1:1
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (London)

Rank of China's military budget among the world's largest that year: 3
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (London)

2/03Percentage change in the number of graduate degrees awarded in China since 1981: +680
Dr. Yugui Guo (North Potomac, Md.)

4/03Amount the U.S. withheld from the U.N. Population Fund last year, citing links to forced abortions in China: $34,000,000
The Alan Guttmacher Institute (Washington)

Months after the State Department had cleared the U.N. of such connections that the funds were withheld nonetheless: 2
The Alan Guttmacher Institute (Washington)

4/03Percentage of Chinese who say they have never heard of AIDS: 17
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta)

5/03Ratio of the number of Volkswagens sold in China last year to the number sold in the United States: 4:3
Volkswagen (Wolfsburg, Germany)

5/03Ratio of the average garment-worker wage in China to that in Mexico: 1:3
International Labor Organization (Washington)

11/04Number of restaurants in Guizhou, China, closed in April for adding opium to their dishes: 215
Guizhou Provincial Bureau of Public Security (Guiyang, China)

2/04Percentage of Chinese exports to the U.S. accounted for by merchandise sold at Wal-Mart: 10
Wal-Mart (Bentonville, Ark.)/Department of Commerce (Washington)

2/04Number of factory jobs that China has lost since 1995: 25,000,000
Alliance Capital Management Corporation (N.Y.C.)

3/04Chance that a resident of China has never heard of AIDS: 1 in 5
Futures Group International (Washington)

3/04Estimated number of doctors in China with experience in treating HIV/AIDS: 100
amfAR (N.Y.C.)

3/04Number of monkeys fed a nine-course meal at last year's Chinese Banquet for Monkeys in Lopburi, Thailand: 3,000
Tourism Authority of Thailand (Bangkok)

12/05Percentage change since 1995 in the U.S. trade deficit with China, as a percentage of U.S. GDP: +202
UBS (N.Y.C.)/Harper's research

Percentage change with all other countries: +147
UBS (N.Y.C.)/Harper's research

3/05Number of African nations that have trade deals with China: 41
U.N. Development Programme (Beijing)

3/05Number of plastic surgeries undergone by the winner of last year's "Miss Artificial Beauty" pageant in China: 4
Beijing Tianjiu Weiye Wenhua, Inc.

Number undergone by the runner-up: 10
Beijing Tianjiu Weiye Wenhua, Inc.

4/05Rank of Colombia's stock exchange among the best performers tracked by The Economist last year: 1
Thomson Financial (N.Y.C.)

Rank of China's among the worst: 1
Thomson Financial (N.Y.C.)

4/05Rank of China among nations where world business leaders say they are "most confident" to invest this year: 1
A.T. Kearney (Chicago)

4/05Number of private jets in China: 2
Raytheon Aircraft Company (Wichita, Kans.)

5/05Percentage of owners of private businesses in China who are members of the Communist Party: 34
Xinhua News Agency, 2/10/05

Percentage of all adults in China who are: 5
Embassy of the People's Republic of China (Washington)

6/05Portion of the world's motor vehicles that are in China: 1/17
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (Geneva)

Portion of the world's annual traffic fatalities that are: 1/5
World Health Organization (Geneva)

6/05Percentage change since 1994 in treatment for male infertility and erectile dysfunction in Shanghai: +100
Shanghai Institute of Andrology

6/05Amount a Chinese online gamer made last year by selling a virtual sword he had borrowed from a friend: $850
Shanghai Zhen Xing Law Firm

Months later that the friend retaliated by stabbing him to death with a real knife: 6
Shanghai Zhen Xing Law Firm

8/05Fine levied last year on a restaurant in southwest China for serving sushi atop naked women: $242
Kunming Xishan District Bureau of Health

9/05Number of consecutive years that China has jailed more reporters than any other nation: 6
Reporters Without Borders (N.Y.C.)

1/06Percentage change last year in foreign direct investment in China: ‒2.1
Foreign Direct Investment Administration (Beijing)

1/06Average number of mass protests in China each day: 200
Ta Kung Pao, 7/6/05

1/06Number of manufacturing jobs that China has lost since 1996: 21,000,000
Judith Banister, Javelin Investments (Beijing)

3/06Percentage of Americans who believe that China will be stronger than the U.S. in a decade: 42
Harris Interactive (Rochester, N.Y.)

3/06Number of copies sold in Japan since last summer of a comic book about the worthlessness of China: 180,000
Asuka Shinsha (Tokyo)

Number of copies sold of a similar comic book about Korea: 370,000
Shinyusha (Tokyo)

4/06Number of consecutive decades that the amount of sunlight in China has declined: 5
Yun Qian, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.)

5/06Percentage of China's investable assets that are controlled by the richest half-percent of households: 62
The Boston Consulting Group (N.Y.C.)

5/06Percentage of white-collar Chinese workers who have personal blogs: 52
CBP Career Consultants Co. (Shanghai)

6/06Price for which China will rent out Beijing's Great Hall of the People: $12,000
Administrative Bureau of the Great Hall of the People (Beijing)

6/06Percentage of Chinese who say the free market is "the best system on which to base the future of the world": 74
The Program on International Policy Attitudes (Washington)

Percentage of the French who say this: 36
The Program on International Policy Attitudes (Washington)

9/06Percentage change since 1991 in the average fee charged by smugglers of illegal Chinese immigrants into the U.S.: +100
Ko-lin Chin, Rutgers University (Newark)

9/06Number of Chinese illegals who have been caught by the United States but China has so far refused to take back: 39,000
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

9/06Number of troops that China has contributed to current U.N. peacekeeping missions: 1,408
U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (N.Y.C.)

Number from the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council combined: 822
U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (N.Y.C.)

9/06Minimum number of Chinese censors who monitor Internet activity: 100,000
Xiao Qiang, China Internet Project (Berkeley, Calif.)

12/07Estimated percentage of the world's male smokers who live in the United States and China, respectively: 3, 31
American Cancer Society (Atlanta)

Estimated percentage of the world's female smokers: 8, 7
American Cancer Society (Atlanta)

12/07Number of the world's five most valuable companies last year that were Chinese: 0
Bloomberg News (N.Y.C.)

Number this year: 3
Bloomberg News (N.Y.C.)

12/07Percentage change since 2000 in the value of China's private security and surveillance industry: +265
China Public Security Association (Shenzhen)

4/07Rank of the People's Bank of China among the world's most profitable banks last year: 1
Stephen Green, Standard Chartered (Shanghai)

4/07Maximum body-mass index that China now allows for any foreigner adopting a Chinese infant: 39
China Center of Adoption Affairs (Beijing)

Maximum number of divorces that prospective parents can have between them: 2
China Center of Adoption Affairs (Beijing)

9/07Earliest year, in a 2004 estimate, that China was projected to surpass the United States in CO2 production: 2024
International Energy Agency (Paris)

Year that China is now expected to pass the U.S.: 2007
International Energy Agency (Paris)

11/08Average number of hours per week that an American and a Chinese person, respectively, spend shopping: 4, 10
McKinsey & Company (N.Y.C.)

11/08Number of the 77 applications to protest during the Beijing Olympics this summer that were denied: 1
Xinhua News Agency (Beijing)

Number that were withdrawn by the petitioners or suspended for incorrect paperwork: 76
Xinhua News Agency (Beijing)

12/08Amount a Chinese investor paid in June to have lunch with Warren Buffett: $2,110,000
Glide Foundation (San Francisco)

3/08Portion of U.S. GDP that is accounted for by consumer spending: 7/10
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Portion of China's GDP: 1/3
United Nations Statistics Division (N.Y.C.)

4/08Chance that a Silicon Valley technology company started since 1995 was founded by Indian or Chinese immigrants: 1 in 3
AnnaLee Saxenian, University of California, Berkeley

5/08Portion of all Chinese cancer deaths that are pollution-related, according to the government: 7/10
State Environmental Protection Administration (Beijing)

5/08Length, in miles, of Beijing's newest airport terminal: 2
Foster + Partners (London)

6/08Average number of inches by which entrepreneurs in China are taller than normal for their demographic: 0.3
Gérard Roland, University of California, Berkeley

2/09Rank of Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy among "music's most anticipated album[s] ever," according to its ad campaign: 1
Best Buy (N.Y.C.)
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