Another China time zone question

Paul Eggert eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU
Wed Oct 13 05:54:37 UTC 2010

On 10/12/2010 06:24 PM, Jonathan Hassid wrote:
> So I was wondering what the sources are for China having multiple time
> zones from 1949-1980, and who is correct here

Thanks for bringing that source to our attention.

Our source for the current set of historical data is:

Thomas G. Shanks and Rique Pottenger, The International Atlas (6th edition),
San Diego: ACS Publications, Inc. (2003).  ISBN 0-935127-88-7.

There is also one other reliable source, though alas it contains
just one transition:

China: if it's light, it must be Urumqi
TIME, 1986-02-17, p. 52

(Naturally the two sources disagree. :-)

>From the TIME source, it's quite clear that the question of what time
it is in Urumqi has been controversial for years, and I expect that
it'll be as hard to get reliable data for Urumqi as it is for Mongolia.

All that being said, I think the source you provided is more
reliable than Shanks & Pottenger for older time stamps.  I found it
abstracted at <> but
unfortunately cannot read it.  Can you summarize what it says,
precisely enough for us to generate tables from it?  For example,
the abstract says there was a transition most likely on 1949-09-27
(though it could have been as late as 1949-10-06), but it doesn't
say what the transition was from, or to, or where the transition
occurred (presumably Beijing?).  Your email says the rest of the
country switched by the beginning of 1950, with the exception
of Tibet following in 1960 and Xinjiang by 1975; are there more
details about what the transitions were from and when they occurred?

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