There are crazy stories about the world’s most populated nation, China. While some may blow your mind, others are mildly concerning, while some are downright troubling. This Asian country has been in the limelight for many reasons: its active involvement in the Olympics, having the largest standing army, and its love for skyscrapers. China has also been a key player in the global economy.
China is huge and highly diverse. This is one of the reasons it has attracted the attention of the world. When you look at videos and photos taken in China, you will be greeted by bright lights and colorful signs. In fact, you will notice that almost every building begs to catch your attention.
This is one of the countries that many people desire to visit. And this is mostly because of its amazing architecture, fashion, and its pandas. But not everything glitters in China. There are realities in this country that can make you postpone your visit. These hard truths are troubling and are believed to be caused by China’s ever-growing population.
Some of the most obvious issues are its poor environmental record, extreme punishment, and excessive government regulation. In light of these facts, let’s look at 15 most troubling facts about China:
15. CHINA IS THE WORST OFFENDER WHEN IT COMES TO UNSTABLE DIET
It is estimated that on average 1.7 million pigs are consumed daily. This is mainly because there are billions of people to feed and very little land for farming. In fact, the demand for meat in China is expected to continue rising. It has been reported that the situation has motivated China to start irrigating its agricultural land. The country has even gone further to buy arable land outside its borders.
Chinese farmers have not been able to meet the demand, and this has caused an increase in meat import. Today, China’s love for meat has positioned it as the world’s biggest pork industry.
The love for meat is probably why the Chinese eat dogs. In China, eating a dog is believed to stimulate internal health and bring luck. The annual dog meat festival is held every year, and around 10,000 dogs are slaughtered.
14. THERE ARE AROUND 35 MILLION CHINESE LIVING IN CAVES
This is a worrying trend, considering China’s status in world rankings. Worse, the government is not bothered by this fact. In fact, the government has a scheme to provide better caves. The cave dwellings are referred to as yaodongs and are home to more than 30 million Chinese people.
Many of these cave occupants live in Shaanxi province where the soil is suitable for digging. The dwellers dig into the side of a mountain and use blankets or rice paper as makeshift doors. Those who go an extra mile dig several chambers and secure the cave using brick. Some residents even go as far as installing running water and electricity.
13. MILLIONS OF CHINESE SURVIVE WITH LESS THAN US$1 A DAY
China has millions of people living below the poverty line. This is a clear indication of the income inequality in this country. In addition, almost 500 million live on less than $2 per day. Among the poor, 85% live in rural areas with a bigger population residing in the western part of the country.
The wealth gap means the levels of poverty are high and severe in China. In fact, the country’s ministry of health claims that up to 200 million Chinese peasants struggle with occupational ailments. Considering China’s population, these statistics hint that the economy is not as accommodative as it may appear. Though the Chinese economy has recorded some growth in the past, the effect of this growth only benefits a small portion of the population.
12. CIGARETTE SMOKING IS AT A LEVEL HIGH
Statistics reveal that in 2014 alone, 5.8 trillion cigarettes were smoked and the consumption is still on the rise. In fact, the Chinese market is said to smoke more cigarettes than a combination of all the low and middle-income countries.
China’s smoking population stands at 300 million. That is almost one-third of the world’s smoking population. From the statistic, it is true that one out of three cigarettes smoked – in the world – is puffed in China. Due to this menace, it is approximated that one million deaths occur annually as a result of tobacco.
11. THE DEMAND FOR DISPOSABLE CHOPSTICKS IS KILLING CHINA’S FORESTS
The Chinese continue cutting down trees to make chopsticks, which they use for their meals. It is estimated that 45 billion chopsticks are used annually, and the high number has put a strain on the country’s forests. In 2011, the New York Times reported that the production of some 57 billion chopsticks led to the destruction of 3.8 million trees. The demand for wood to make utensils is worrying, especially at a time when environmentalists are working to save forests around the globe.
Why can’t China control its consumption and encourage the population to carry this utensil? This is the only way Chinese diners can save the planet. Otherwise, if the trend continues forests may be wiped out in China.
10. CHINA REMAINS THE WORLD’S TOP EXECUTIONER, BUT TRIES TO KEEP IT A SECRET
In 2013, China had executed more offenders than every other country combined, according to Amnesty International. But when the public learned about this fact, the government changed its tactic and started issuing death sentences instead of executions.
For a long time, Amnesty has been forced to estimate the number of executions that take place in China. This is because these acts have been treated as state secrets. For this reason, observers have had a difficult time coming up with accurate figures. It is only in 2008 that Amnesty was able to estimate the number of executions with relative accuracy, and the number stood at 1,718.
Other bodies that have tried to estimate the number of murders have come up with very high figures. For example, the Dui Hua Foundation revealed that 4,000 executions took place in 2011. Why would a high-ranking country kill so many people?
9. KIDS DEFECATE EVERYWHERE
In China, children are allowed to poop wherever they want. While this may seem odd, it is the result of poor public restrooms. The situation has gotten out of hand to the extent where every week a photo surfaces online of a kid crapping in a public place. This can only mean two things: the air is filled with poop smell, and you can step on someone’s stool if you don’t watch your steps.
While the majority of people involved in this act are kids, the habit is said to have spread to adults. The issue is that public toilets can be dodgy and there have been insufficient toilets in China. Furthermore, diapers have been known to be costly, forcing people to invent crotchless pants.
8. MILLIONS OF CHINESE DRINK CONTAMINATED WATER
China has a water crisis. This manifests itself as water shortage, water pollution, and a deteriorating water quality.
This is expected considering the population and the little regard for forests. Experts have warned that if the country does not take action, the water levels may go below the internationally set benchmark by 2030. A survey further revealed that 90% of the country’s groundwater is polluted.
Half of china’s biggest cities face water shortages, and Beijing is one of the most hit. For this reason, millions of Chinese continue to drink unsafe water. The water that is available has been tainted by contaminants and dangerous chemicals.
Scientists have linked the high rates of esophageal, stomach, and liver cancers to the water condition. World Bank predicts that if there is no intervention, there will be 30 million environmental refugees by 2020. These refugees will be the result of water shortages.
7. THE POLLUTION LEVELS IN CHINA ARE HEART-WRENCHING
Nearly every Chinese city is experiencing air pollution. In fact, it is believed that breathing in Beijing for a whole day is like smoking 21 cigarettes. The booming automobile industry and the heavy dependence on coal energy are responsible for all the pollution.
As a result, tiny poisonous particles float in the air and get inhaled by city residents. China’s pollution is so severe that experts claim it can be seen from space. The pollution level is so high that it has found its way to San Francisco and is responsible for a third of the city’s pollution.
Foreigners who move to China have had a particularly difficult time adjusting to the foul air. In most cases, foreigners have been reported to develop coughs, throat irritations, and headaches. The condition has been named “Beijing cough.” The biggest fear is that China may affect the rest of the world.
6. YOU CAN RESTORE YOUR VIRGINITY IN CHINA
Absurd as it may seem, it is a reality in China. There is a new plastic surgery trend that Chinese women are using to restore their hymens in a bid to please their suitors. This is happening because virginity is highly valued among females who, in most cases, can pay upwards of $500 to have their hymens restored.
Well, we may call this the ultimate plastic surgery because it fixes an anatomy and grants a new future. The half-hour operation can turn a sex goddess into a surgical virgin. It is the shortest and simplest way to prepare her for the night before the wedding. The procedure is referred to as hymen restoration and stitches together what had been shattered during intercourse.
5. YOU COULD NOT HAVE KIDS UNTIL THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWED
In the past, until October 2015, married Chinese couples had to apply for a Family Planning Certificate before getting pregnant. The infamous one-child policy had severe consequences and infringed on people’s human rights. During that time, Chinese couples who bore more than one child were forced to pay hefty fines, undergo abortions, or get sterilized.
The policy led to thousands of girls being abandoned as families adored boys. The system that was introduced in 1979 caught the attention of the world and is being discussed to date. Even though the system was abolished, couples have found themselves restricted to one child. Others have even decided to remain childless. The result has been too many old people.
4. CHINA HAS ONE TIME ZONE, AND IT’S A PROBLEM
Despite its size, China has one time zone referred to as Beijing Standard Time. In the country’s westernmost locations, like Xinjiang, sunrise can be as late as 10 am. This decision was made by The Communist Party in a bid to enhance ‘national unity.’
Using one time zone can cause confusion on so many levels, especially to a country as big as China. Foreigners who have been inconvenienced by this time zone have been forced to adjust their hours though the effects are still disorienting, especially to those visiting China for the first time.
3. INTERNET CENSORSHIP
The Chinese government is notorious for controlling web content and has the right to ban, delete, or restrict material that it deems inappropriate. Facebook is one of the biggest sites that has been banned. According to the government, Facebook was going to damage China’s national interest. The ban was triggered by the 2009 riots in Xinjiang.
Sadly, Facebook is not the only social network that has faced the wrath of the government; Twitter was also banned in 2009. Other media big wigs who have faced the music include the New York Times and Bloomberg News. While the government has used all manner of excuses to justify its ‘Great Firewall,’ it all trickles down to fear. Since China is known to be secretive, maybe it is safeguarding some of its secrets.
2. MORE BABIES ARE BEING BORN WITH BIRTH DEFECTS
Statistics reveal that every 30 seconds, a baby is born with a birth defect. Since 2001, birth defects have increased by almost 40%, and this is a reason to be worried. The country’s population and family planning body revealed that the rate of infants born with defects rose to 145.5 in 2006 from 104.9 per 10,000 births. These conditions are causing an increase in expenses as more medical attention is needed to save the lives of these babies.
Sadly, statistics indicate that only 20-30% of these kids can be treated or cured. Out of the total number, 40% have no option but to suffer permanent deformities while the rest die shortly after birth. This shocking revelation hints that there could be a serious health problem in China; a problem that may have been overlooked. This is a reason to get worried.
1. BY 2020 THERE MAY BE ONE WIFE WITH SEVERAL HUSBANDS
There are too many men, and this is the result of the decades-long one-child policy that preferred men to women. The situation was further heightened by female infanticide and the neglect of girls in some parts of China. Based on these facts, it is believed that 30 million more men than women will enter adulthood and be ready to mate by 2020.
This statistic reveals that a significant number of young men are going to experience problems finding suitors. History has proven that a surplus of men often gives birth to violence, and this may be no different. Having a high population will likely lead to violence, lawlessness, and homicide. China may have to consider legalizing male-male marriage because having 30 million more men than women is a catastrophic.
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