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16 Shocking Facts about China's Economy, Production and Natural Resources

Posted 2019/6/10

China's enormous population and massive size makes it so that its industrial production and consumption of natural resources are alarmingly high. An American website recently listed 16 shocking facts about China's impact on the surrounding environment.

1) China consumes nearly 80 billion pairs of disposable chopstick annually. In order to meet the Chinese demand for chopsticks, nearly ten million trees are cut down every year. The trees that are used are about 20 years old. (Source: South China Morning Post)

2) China has a total of 9.3 million km of railway, including railways that are currently under construction. This means that China's total combined stretch of railway could circle the Earth twice, as the length of the equator itself is about 4 million kilometers. (Source: BAML)

3) China's coal reserves are equal to the weight of 575 million blue whales, a total of 115 billion tons or a third of the world's proven coal reserves. The blue whale is the heaviest animal on the planet and can weigh up to 200 tons. China's total coal production amounts to about 46 percent of world production and its consumption equals 49 percent of world consumption. (Source: Global Post)

4) In the past two years, China has produced more cement than the United States produced throughout the entire 20th century. China is by far the world's largest cement producer and produces and consumes about 60 percent of the world's cement. (Source: Financial Times)

5) 1 million Chinese people die from smoking every year, more than the entire population of Cyprus, an island in the eastern Mediterranean. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2050, Chinese deaths due to smoking will reach 3 million per year. (Source: Bloomberg Business Week)

6) China's natural gas reserves are equal to 1.24 billion Olympic sized swimming pools. China has proven natural gas resources of 109.3 trillion cubic feet and is number 13 in the world for amount of natural gas resources. An Olympic sized swimming pool has a volume of about 88,000 cubic feet. (Source: BP)

7) In 2011, China consumed enough instant noodles to feed the entire population of Algeria. That year, China consumed 425 billion packs of instant noodles. The total population of Algeria is 38,700,000. (Source: BAML)

8) China consumes enough pork annually to be equal to the weight of 5,200 Eiffel Towers. In 2011, China consumed 51.6 million tons of pork and 52 million tons in 2012. According to reports, the Eiffel Tower weighs about 10,000 tons. (Source: Rabobank)

9) The 20 richest people in China have a combined total worth of $145.1 billion in assets. This figure is even higher than the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Hungary. Hungary's GDP is about $124 billion. (Source: Forbes Magazine)

10) Over 30,000,000 Chinese people live in caves, a figure equal to the total population of Saudi Arabia. In Shaanxi, China, many people still live in caves, and when President Xi Jinping was getting “educated” as a youth he also lived in a cave. (Source: Los Angeles Times)

11) China's famous “sock town,” in Datang, Zhuji, Zhejiang province, produces nearly 8 billion pairs of socks every year. In 2011, this figure was equivalent to the entire world's population. (Source: The Guardian)

12) China's suicide rate is more than twice that of the United States. Out of 100,000 Chinese people, 22.2 die from committing suicide, while in the United States, the number is 10.3 out of 100,000 people. (Source: World Health Organization/ AFP)

13) China's total land area is similar to that of the United States; however, China only has one time zone. Under the Nationalist Party, the nation was divided into five time zones, however the People's Republic of China changed it to create a unified time zone. This means that in winter in some places the sun does not rise until 10:00 AM. (Source: Atlantic News)

14) China has 7 percent of the world's arable land and a quarter of the world's population. China's agricultural production has tripled since 1978 and livestock production has increased five-fold. (Source: Mother Jones)

15) China's total consumption expenditure will increase to three times its current amount by 2020. China's total consumption expenditure is expected to grow from $2.03 trillion in 2010 to $6.18 trillion in 2020. China's total spending will be $245 billion and it will become the world's largest consumer of luxury goods. (Source: Boston Consulting Agency)

16) China is the world's largest consumer of pork and consumes half of the world's pork. Production of pigs in China has reached 475 million, which accounts for half of world production. (Source: U.S. Earth Policy Institute)

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