FW: FW: when did China adopt one time zone?

Olson, Arthur David (NIH/NCI) [E] olsona at dc37a.nci.nih.gov
Mon Feb 11 21:02:01 UTC 2008

I'm forwarding this message from Thomas S. Mullaney, who is not on the
time zone mailing list.

Those of you who are on the time zone mailing list should direct replies


-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas S. Mullaney [mailto:tsmullaney at stanford.edu] 
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 3:50
To: tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov
Cc: tz at lecserver.nci.nih.gov
Subject: Re: FW: when did China adopt one time zone?

I think you're combining two subjects that need to treated 
separately: daylight savings (which, you're correct, wasn't 
implemented until the 1980s) and the unified time zone centered near 
Beijing (which was implemented in 1949). Briefly, there was also a 
"Lhasa Time" in Tibet and "Urumqi Time" in Xinjiang. The first was 
ceased, and the second eventually recognized (again, in the 1980s).

At 11:50 AM -0800 2/11/08, Paul Eggert wrote:
>  > 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.


Thomas S. Mullaney
Assistant Professor
Modern Chinese History

Department of History
Stanford University
450 Serra Mall, Bld 200
Stanford, CA 94305-2024

T (650) 736-8386
F (650) 725-0597

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