Just The Facts

China & India: The Single Time-Zone Kings

The world’s two billion-person nations continue to stick to one time zone each.

Takeaways


  • China is the world’s second-largest country in terms of land area – 9.3 million square kilometers (3.6 million square miles).
  • China has only one time zone for the entire country: Beijing Time.
  • India, the world’s seventh-largest country at 3 million square kilometers (1.1 million square miles), has only one official time zone.

1. China is the world’s second-largest country in terms of land area – 9.3 million square kilometers (3.6 million square miles).

2. However, China has only one time zone for the entire country: Beijing Time.

3. As a result, the sunrises and sunsets in the country’s far western and eastern regions occur at official clock times that are impractical.

4. For example, in western Tibet, sunrise in January may occur after 9:30 AM, while in northeastern Heilongjiang (east of Korea), sunrise in July may occur around 3 AM.

5. To compensate for this, people tend to offset their daily schedules from the official time to something more closely approximating local solar time.

6. There is also a great deal of daylight variance between northern China, which is about as far north as London, and southern China, which is located in the edge of the subtropics.

7. India, the world’s seventh-largest country by land area at 3 million square kilometers (1.1 million square miles), also has only one official time zone.

8. India’s time zone is one of the few time zones in the world that is offset from Greenwich Mean Time by a half hour interval, rather than a full hour interval.

9. It is based on a time zone set by the British, which was approximately centrally located to the full area of old British India (including Pakistan and Burma).

10. The coordination line for India happened to be halfway between full hours, as counted in one-hour segments away from the UK’s Greenwich meridian.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center

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