FW: when did China adopt one time zone?

Paul Eggert eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU
Mon Feb 11 19:50:36 UTC 2008

> From: Thomas S. Mullaney [mailto:tsmullaney at stanford.edu] 
> Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 3:55

> This is a project I started thinking about this past summer - a
> fascinating topic, no?

Yes, quite addictive....

Perhaps there is a confusion between two different topics here.  The
tz database is mostly concerned with the actual clock settings; it
doesn't record (except in comments) whether the time zone is called
"Beijing Time" or "Beiping Time" or something else.  Historically,
Beijing Time (under whatever name) covered just part of the territory
of China; the question the tz database is concerned with is when this
was expanded to include the whole country.  You can find a map of the
old "Beiping Time" (perhaps "Chungyuan Time" is a better name) zone in
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_in_China>.  What's missing is when
that time zone expanded to included the whole country.

I just now checked Google News for western news sources that talk
about China's single time zone, and couldn't find anything before 1986
talking about China being in one time zone.  (That article was: Jim
Mann, "A clumsy embrace for another western custom: China on daylight
time--sort of", Los Angeles Times, 1986-05-05.  By the way, this
article confirms the tz database's data claiming that China began
observing daylight saving time in 1986.)

Obviously this simple search isn't conclusive, as it doesn't include
reliable Chinese sources; still, it is not at all clear from the data
mentioned above that China switched to a single time zone in 1949.

More information about the tz mailing list