Time in China

The time in China follows a single standard time offset of UTC+08:00 (eight hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time), despite China spanning five geographical time zones. The official national standard time is called Beijing Time (Chinese: 北京时间) domestically [1] and China Standard Time (CST) internationally.[2] Daylight saving time has not been observed since 1991.[3]

The special administrative regions (SARs) have their own standard time called Hong Kong Time (香港時間) in Hong Kong SAR and Macau Standard Time (澳門標準時間) in Macau SAR. In Taiwan, people use the standard time called Taipei Standard Time (台北標準時間;中原標準時間). Although those names vary, they are strictly consistent with the China Standard Time (CST).

History

In the 1870s, the Shanghai Xujiahui Observatory was constructed by a French Catholic missionary. In 1880s officials in Shanghai French Concession started to provide a time announcement service using the Shanghai Mean Solar Time provided by the aforementioned observatory for ships into and out of Shanghai. By the end of 19th century, the time standard provided by the observatory had been switched to UTC+08:00.[4] The practice has spread to other coastal ports, and in 1902 the "Coastal Time" was proposed to be the universal timezone for all the coastal ports in China. However, the timezone for the rest of China remained undetermined.[5]

Until 1913, the official time standard for the whole of China was still the apparent solar time of Beijing, the capital of the country at the time. Starting in 1914, the Republic of China government began adopting the Beijing Local Mean Solar Time as the official time standard. By 1918, five standard time zones had been proposed by the Central Observatory of Beiyang government of Republic of China, including the Kunlun (UTC+05:30), Sinkiang-Tibet (UTC+06:00), Kansu-Szechwan (UTC+07:00), Chungyuan (UTC+08:00), and Changpai (UTC+08:30).[4]

UTC hue4map X Republic of China
The 1947 version timezone assignment

After the defeat of Beiyang government in 1928, the mission of the Central Observatory was moved to Nanjing, and the reference time standard used for the construction of traditional Chinese Calendar was shifted from Beijing Mean Solar Time to UTC+08:00.[4]

In 1930s, the proposed five timezones had not been fully observed, causing regions in inner China area to adopt their own time standards, resulting in chaos. On 9 March 1939, when the Ministry of the Interior organized a Standard Time Conference in Chongqing, it was decided to adopt the five timezone proposal with slight modification of their borders starting from 1 June, however it was also decided that the entire country would use the Kansu-Szechwan Time (UTC+07:00) during the Second Sino-Japanese War which began at the time.[4]

Following the end of World War II, the five-timezone system was resumed, although there is little information about the historical usage of time in the Kunlun and Changpai zones. A further refined system with adjustment to zone assignment in the Northwest part of Gansu was announced in 1947 for adoption in 1948. However, as the Chinese Civil War came to its end in 1949-1950, regional governments under the influence of Communist Party of China, other than those in Xinjiang and Tibet, switched to use the same time as Beijing, which is UTC+08:00, and is later known as Beijing Time or China Standard Time.[4]

There are two independent sources that claim the Communist Party of China, and/or the People's Republic of China, were using apparent solar time for Beijing Time before the period between 27 September 1949 and 6 October 1949, and they adopted the time of UTC+08:00 within that period of time, but such claim is dubious.[6]

The change in use of time in Tibet is undocumented but is known to use till at least mid-1950s, and the use of time in Xinjiang have been switched back and forth between UTC+06:00 and UTC+08:00 during the period of 1969 and 1986 and resulted in the current multiple time standard situation in the area. (see "Xinjiang" section below for detail)[4]

Daylight saving time was observed from 1945 to 1948, and from 1986 to 1991.[4]

In 1997 and 1999, Hong Kong and Macau were transferred to China from the United Kingdom and Portugal and they were established as special administrative regions. Although the sovereignty of the SARs belongs to China, they retain their own policies regarding time zones for historical reasons. Due to their geographical locations, both are within the UTC+08:00 time zone, which is the same as the national standard — Beijing time.

Geography

As an illustration of the wide range, the daylight hours for the westernmost (both including and not including Xinjiang due to local customs, see below) and easternmost county seats, calculated for the year 2019, are shown here:[7]

Division Daylight time
Location County Province 1 January 1 July
Westernmost Akto Xinjiang 10:18 – 19:49 07:39 – 22:29
Westernmost (not including Xinjiang) Zanda Tibet 09:40 – 19:51 07:42 – 21:50
Easternmost Fuyuan Heilongjiang 06:54 – 15:18 03:06 – 19:07

The border with Afghanistan at the Wakhjir Pass has the sharpest official change of clocks of any international land frontier: UTC+08:00 in China to UTC+04:30 in Afghanistan.

Regions with special time regulations

Xinjiang

Map of China Xinjiang
Map of Xinjiang, together with rest of China

In Xinjiang, two time standards, namely, Beijing Time and Xinjiang Time, are used in parallel.[8][4]

Xinjiang Time, also known as Ürümqi Time (Chinese: 乌鲁木齐时间; pinyin: Wūlǔmùqí Shíjiān), is set due to its geographical location in the westernmost part of the country.[9] The time offset is UTC+06:00, which is two hours behind Beijing, and is shared with neighbouring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Currently, timezone usage within Xinjiang is roughly split along the ethnic divide, with most ethnic Han following Beijing time and most ethnic Uyghurs following Ürümqi Time.[10] Some local authorities are now using both time standards side by side.[11][12] Television stations schedule programmes in different time standards according to their nature.[4]

The coexistence of two timezones within the same region causes some confusion among the local population, especially when inter-racial communication occurs. When a time is mentioned in conversation between Han and Uyghur, it is necessary to either explicitly make clear whether the time is in Xinjiang Time or Beijing Time, or convert the time according to the ethnicity of the other party.[13][14][15] The double time standard is particularly observable in Xinjiang Television, which schedules its Chinese channel according to Beijing time and its Uyghur and Kazakh channels according to Xinjiang time. [16]

Regardless, Beijing Time users in Xinjiang usually schedule their daily activities two hours later than those who live in eastern China. As such, stores and offices in Xinjiang are commonly open from 10am to 7pm Beijing Time, which equals 8am to 5pm in Ürümqi Time.[17] This is known as the work/rest time in Xinjiang.[18]

In most areas of Xinjiang, the opening time of local authorities is additionally modified by shifting the morning session 30–60 minutes backward and the afternoon session 30 minutes forward to extend the lunch break for 60–90 minutes, so as to avoid the intense heat during noon time in the area during summer.[12]

Hong Kong

Hong Kong maintains its own time authority after transfer of sovereignty in 1997. The Hong Kong Time (Chinese: 香港時間; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng sìgaan) is UTC+08:00 all year round, and daylight saving time has not been used since 1979.[19] Greenwich Mean Time was adopted as the basis in 1904, and UTC was adopted as a standard in 1972. Before that, local time was determined by astronomical observations at Hong Kong Observatory using a 6-inch Lee Equatorial and a 3-inch Transit Circle.

Macau

Macau maintains its own time authority after transfer of sovereignty in 1999. The Macau Standard Time[20] (Chinese: 澳門標準時間; pinyin: Àomén Biāozhǔn Shíjiān; Portuguese: Hora Oficial de Macau[21]) is the time in Macau. The time is UTC+08:00 all year round, and daylight saving time has not been used since 1980.[22]

IANA time zone database

The territory of the People's Republic of China is covered in the IANA time zone database by the following zones. The reason why Asia/Shanghai is used instead of Beijing is because Shanghai is the most populous location in the zone.[23]

Columns marked with * are from the file zone.tab of the database.

c.c.* coordinates* TZ* comments* Standard time Summer time Notes
CN +3114+12128 Asia/Shanghai Beijing Time UTC+08:00
CN +4348+08735 Asia/Urumqi Xinjiang Time UTC+08:00
HK +2217+11409 Asia/Hong_Kong UTC+08:00
MO +2214+11335 Asia/Macau UTC+08:00

Backward compatibility zone

The following zones, including Asia/Kashgar, Asia/Chongqing, and Asia/Harbin, are kept in the "backzone" file of the IANA timezone database for backward compatibility.

c.c.* coordinates* TZ* comments* Standard time Summer time Notes
CN +4545+12641 Asia/Harbin UTC+08:00 linked back to Asia/Shanghai
CN +2934+10635 Asia/Chongqing UTC+08:00 linked back to Asia/Shanghai
CN +3929+07559 Asia/Kashgar UTC+08:00 linked back to Asia/Ürümqi

See also

References

  1. ^ "时间的概念". 国家授时中心科普网站. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012.
  2. ^ "CST – China Standard Time (Time Zone Abbreviation)". timeanddate.com.
  3. ^ timeanddate.com, Daylight Saving Time in China
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i GUO, Qing-sheng (2001). "中国标准时制考" [A Study on the Standard Time Changes for the Past 100 Years in China] (PDF). China Historical Materials of Science and Technology (in Chinese). 22 (3): 269–280. 1000-0798(2001)03-0269-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  5. ^ ""北京时间"是怎么来的". 北京日报. 28 October 2015.
  6. ^ Guo, Qingsheng (2003) "Beijing Time at the Beginning of PRC", China Historical Materials of Science and Technology 24(1)
  7. ^ "NOAA Solar Calculator". NOAA. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  8. ^ "冷知识:"北京时间"的由来" (in Chinese). 新华网. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "【讀書時間】在時間的悟透里跋涉或存在".
  11. ^ "Bending Time in Xinjiang".
  12. ^ a b "作息时间". Archived from the original on 12 October 2014.
  13. ^ "10点日出,半夜吃饭,在新疆用北京时间的烦恼". 纽约时报中文网国际纵览. 17 June 2016.
  14. ^ "【城市】乌鲁木齐:没有屋顶的博物馆". 南方周末. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016.
  15. ^ "Clocks square off in China's far west". Los Angeles Times. 31 March 2009.
  16. ^ 北京时间的概念
  17. ^ "The Working-Calendar for The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government". The Government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Archived from the original on 4 December 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2008. Urumqi Time (GMT+6) is 2 hours behind Beijing Time
  18. ^ "政协委员建议:调整新疆单位作息时间". 人民网. 17 January 2014.
  19. ^ timeanddate.com, Daylight Saving Time in Hong Kong
  20. ^ Macau Standard Time Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau
  21. ^ "O SERVIÇO DE <<HORA EXACTA>> NA INTERNET". Smg.gov.mo. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  22. ^ timeanddate.com, Daylight Saving Time in Macau
  23. ^ Theory and pragmatics of the tz code and data

External links

Government departments responsible for time services
11th Hong Kong Film Awards

The 11th Hong Kong Awards ceremony, honored the best films of 1991 and took place on 5 April 1992 at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The ceremony was hosted by Philip Chan and Lawrence Cheng, during the ceremony awards are presented in 15 categories.

12th Hong Kong Film Awards

The 12th Hong Kong Awards ceremony, honored the best films of 1992 and took place on 23 April 1993 at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The ceremony was hosted by Lydia Shum and John Sham, during the ceremony awards are presented in 16 categories.

Hong Kong Time

Hong Kong Time (abbreviation: HKT ; Chinese: 香港時間; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 si4 gaan3) is the time in Hong Kong, observed at UTC+08:00 all year round. The Hong Kong Observatory is the official timekeeper of the Hong Kong Time.

Hudson Taylor

James Hudson Taylor (Chinese: 戴德生; pinyin: dài dé shēng; 21 May 1832 – 3 June 1905) was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM, now OMF International). Taylor spent 51 years in China. The society that he began was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces.Taylor was known for his sensitivity to Chinese culture and zeal for evangelism. He adopted wearing native Chinese clothing even though this was rare among missionaries of that time. Under his leadership, the CIM was singularly non-denominational in practice and accepted members from all Protestant groups, including individuals from the working class, and single women as well as multinational recruits. Primarily because of the CIM's campaign against the opium trade, Taylor has been referred to as one of the most significant Europeans to visit China in the 19th century. Historian Ruth Tucker summarizes the theme of his life:

No other missionary in the nineteen centuries since the Apostle Paul has had a wider vision and has carried out a more systematized plan of evangelizing a broad geographical area than Hudson Taylor.

Taylor was able to preach in several varieties of Chinese, including Mandarin, Chaozhou, and the Wu dialects of Shanghai and Ningbo. The last of these he knew well enough to help prepare a colloquial edition of the New Testament written in it.

Hung Yan-yan

Hung Yan-yan (born 25 February 1965) is a Hong Kong martial artist, actor, stuntman and action director originally from Liuzhou, Guangxi, China. He was the stunt double for martial arts superstar Jet Li.

Jet Li

Li Lianjie (courtesy name Yangzhong; born 26 April 1963), better known by his stage name Jet Li, is a Chinese film actor, film producer, martial artist, and retired Wushu champion who was born in Beijing. He is a naturalized Singaporean citizen.After three years of training with acclaimed Wushu teacher Wu Bin, Li won his first national championship for the Beijing Wushu Team. After retiring from competitive Wushu at age 19, he went on to win great acclaim in China as an actor, making his debut with the film Shaolin Temple (1982). He went on to star in many critically acclaimed martial arts epic films, most notably as the lead in Zhang Yimou's Hero (2002), Fist of Legend (1994), and the first three films in the Once Upon a Time in China series (1991–1993), in which he portrayed folk hero Wong Fei-hung.

Li's first role in a non-Chinese film was as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), and his first leading role in a Hollywood film was as Han Sing in Romeo Must Die (2000). He has gone on to star in many international action films, including in French cinema with the Luc Besson-produced films Kiss of the Dragon (2001) and Unleashed (2005). He co-starred in The One (2001) and War (2007) with Jason Statham, The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) with Jackie Chan, all three of The Expendables films with Sylvester Stallone, and as the title character villain in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008).

Last Hero in China

Last Hero in China is a 1993 Hong Kong–Chinese martial arts film written and directed by Wong Jing. It is a derivative of the Once Upon a Time in China film series, and unlike other imitations, it can be considered a spin-off or parody to some extent. It was released after the first three films in the Once Upon a Time in China franchise. The film starred Jet Li as Chinese martial arts master and folk hero of Cantonese ethnicity, Wong Fei-hung and the action choreography was done by Yuen Woo-ping. However Last Hero in China differs greatly in tone from the Once Upon a Time in China films as it contains stronger elements of violence and broader, more slapstick, comedy. The film has 4 easter eggs: a Lifebuoy poster in 1894, a staff of the Monkey King, a guandao and Ne Zha's Universe Ring

Once Upon a Time in China

Once Upon a Time in China is a 1991 Hong Kong–Chinese martial arts film written and directed by Tsui Hark, starring Jet Li as Chinese martial arts master and folk hero of Cantonese ethnicity, Wong Fei-hung. It is the first installment in the Once Upon a Time in China film series.

Once Upon a Time in China (film series)

Once Upon a Time in China is a Hong Kong–Chinese film franchise directed, written, and produced by Tsui Hark. Debuted in 1991, the series is based on the life of Chinese martial arts master and folk hero of Cantonese ethnicity, Wong Fei-hung, who is portrayed by Jet Li in the first three films and Vincent Zhao in the fourth and fifth films. The first two films in the franchise were among the most popular of the Golden Age of Hong Kong cinema (usually dated from 1986 to 1993) and were known for their depiction of Chinese nationalism as well as action choreography. The Once Upon a Time in China films were among Jet Li's best known hits at that time.

Once Upon a Time in China II

Once Upon a Time in China II is a 1992 Hong Kong–Chinese martial arts film written and directed by Tsui Hark, and starring Jet Li as Chinese martial arts master and folk hero of Cantonese ethnicity, Wong Fei-hung. It is the second instalment in the Once Upon a Time in China film series. The iconic theme song, A Man Should Better Himself (男兒當自強), was performed in Cantonese by George Lam at the beginning of the film, and by Jackie Chan in the end credits. (Chan also sang the Mandarin version.)

Once Upon a Time in China III

Once Upon a Time in China III is a 1993 Hong Kong–Chinese martial arts film written, produced and directed by Tsui Hark, starring Jet Li as Chinese martial arts master and folk hero of Cantonese ethnicity, Wong Fei-hung. It is the third instalment in the Once Upon a Time in China film series.

Once Upon a Time in China V

Once Upon a Time in China V is a 1994 Hong Kong–Chinese martial arts action film written and directed by Tsui Hark. The film is the fifth installment in the Once Upon a Time in China film series, with Vincent Zhao reprising his role as Chinese martial arts master and folk hero of Cantonese ethnicity, Wong Fei-hung, since taking over the character from Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China IV. The film also saw the return of Hark as director (he only co-wrote and produced the fourth film) and of Rosamund Kwan as "13th Aunt", who was absent in the fourth film.

Once Upon a Time in China and America

Once Upon a Time in China and America, also known as Once Upon a Time in China VI, is a 1997 Hong Kong–Chinese martial arts film directed by Lau Kar-wing and Sammo Hung in his last directorial effort until The Bodyguard, who also worked on the film's fight choreography. The film is the sixth and final installment in the Once Upon a Time in China film series. It also saw the return of Jet Li as Chinese martial arts master and folk hero of Cantonese ethnicity, Wong Fei-hung, who was replaced by Vincent Zhao in the fourth and fifth films. The film was released in Hong Kong on 1 February 1997 and garnered positive reviews.

Rosamund Kwan

Rosamund Kwan Chi Lam (born Kwan Kar Wai on 24 September 1962), is a former Hong Kong actress, best known for starring as the female lead "Thirteenth Aunt" in the 1990s Once Upon a Time in China film series. She had since retired from acting in 2007.

Tsui Hark

Tsui Hark (Chinese: 徐克, Vietnamese: Từ Khắc, born 15 February 1950), born Tsui Man-kong, is a Chinese film director, producer and screenwriter. Tsui has directed several influential Hong Kong films such as Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983), the Once Upon a Time in China film series (1991–1997) and The Blade (1995). Tsui also has been a prolific writer and (a very hands-on) producer; his productions include A Better Tomorrow (1986), A Chinese Ghost Story (1987), The Killer (1989), The Legend of the Swordsman (1992), The Wicked City (1992), Iron Monkey (1993) and Black Mask (1996). He is viewed as a major figure in the Golden Age of Hong Kong cinema and is regarded by critics as "one of the masters of Asian cinematography".In the late 1990s, Tsui had a short-lived career in the United States, directing the Jean-Claude Van Damme–led films Double Team (1997) and Knock Off (1998). Both films were commercially unsuccessful and critically panned; Tsui himself was unsatisfied with his lack of creative control and returned to Hong Kong to continue his career. He has since found new commercial and critical success with blockbusters such as the Detective Dee film series (2010–present), Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011), and The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014).

Vincent Zhao

Vincent Zhao Wenzhuo (born 10 April 1972), sometimes credited as Vincent Chiu or Chiu Man-cheuk, is a Chinese actor and martial artist. Zhao is best known for playing the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung in the Once Upon a Time in China film and television series and for his films The Blade, True Legend and God of War.

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