China is a vast country encompassing a geographic expanse of the equivalent of five time zones, yet it maintains only one time zone. This single time zone is China Standard Time, or Beijing Time, which is Greenwich Mean Time, plus 8 hours (GMT+8). It is also referred to as Coordinated Universal Time, plus 8 hours (UTC+8). UTC is the same as GMT, except it allows for the occasional leap second to satisfy the slight slowing of the earth’s rotation.
Before the 1949 Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the Communist People’s Republic of China (PRC), China was divided into five time zones. From east to west, they were Changpai Time Zone, Chungyuan Standard Time Zone, Kansu-Szechuan Time Zone, Sinkiang-Tibet Time Zone, and Kunlun Time Zone, ranging from GMT + 8.5 to 5.5 respectively.
In 1000 AD, Kublai Khan established his Mongol empire’s capital in Peking (modern day Beijing). Since that time, Beijing has continued to be the cultural, commercial, political and progressive center for all Chinese standards. Time was relevant to the activity of Beijing and consequently, one Chinese time zone was established.
China spanned five time zones until 1949, when the entire country was synchronized to the same hour. So when dawn breaks in Beijing at 6:43 am, it’s also 6:43 am more than 2,000 miles west in Kashi, where the sun won’t rise for another two hours and 45 minutes.
Interesant?! Eu asa zic… 🙂