And the answer: China.
China has only one time zone called "Beijing Time." However, the country is wider than the continental United States, and is geographically within many coordinated universal time zones. The strange policy began in 1949, when then-leader Chairman Mao Zedong decreed that all of China would be on Beijing Time as a symbol of national unity.
As a highly-populated region with records dating back to the Shang Dynasty in 1600 BC, China has long been a global powerhouse. From being the first nation to use paper money, to the construction of the Great Wall, there are seemingly endless intrigues to China’s expansive history. Test your knowledge below with the below list of interesting facts about China.
1. Ketchup used to be called ke-tsiap, and was originally a Chinese invention. Interestingly, ketchup’s ancestor was completely tomato-free. Instead, the condiment was a fermented fish sauce from southern China. As far back as 300 B.C., texts began documenting the use of fermented pastes made from fish entrails, meat byproducts, and soybeans.
2. China is home to the largest high speed rail system in the world. With a total operating high-speed rail network of about 25,000 miles, the full distance of China’s high speed rail system stands over three times the distance of the European Union’s. China’s high-speed trains carry almost 2 million people daily—about a third of the country’s total rail passengers. In total, high speed trains in China have delivered more than 9 billion passengers.
3. China owns every panda. Like, almost every single one. China has direct ownership over every living giant panda around the world, even if they might have been born in another country. Any panda found outside of China is said to be on loan, and has been given the term “panda diplomacy.” China is said to loan out pandas to countries with which it aims on building good relations. Fascinatingly, this process started all the way back in 685 during the Tang dynasty in China, when Empress Wu Zetian sent a pair of pandas to Japanese ruler, Emperor Tenmu.
Learn more interesting facts about China’s history and impact here.