The time in China follows a single standard time offset of UTC+08:00 (eight hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time), even though China spans almost five geographical time zones. The official national standard time is called Beijing Time (BJT, Chinese :北京时间) domestically and China Standard Time (CST) internationally. Daylight saving time has not been observed since 1991.
China Standard Time (UTC+8) is consistent across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Mongolia, etc.
In the 1870s, the Shanghai Xujiahui Observatory was constructed by a French Catholic missionary. In 1880s officials in Shanghai French Concession started to provide a time announcement service using the Shanghai Mean Solar Time provided by the aforementioned observatory for ships into and out of Shanghai. By the end of 19th century, the time standard provided by the observatory had been switched to GMT+08:00.The practice has spread to other coastal ports, and in 1902 the "Coastal Time" was proposed to be the universal time zone for all the coastal ports in China. However, the time zone for the rest of China remained undetermined.
Until 1913, the official time standard for the whole of China was still the apparent solar time of Beijing, the capital of the country at the time. Starting in 1914, the Republic of China government began adopting the Beijing Local Mean Solar Time as the official time standard. By 1918, five standard time zones had been proposed by the Central Observatory of Beiyang government of Republic of China, including the Kunlun (UTC+05:30), Sinkiang-Tibet (UTC+06:00), Kansu-Szechwan (UTC+07:00), Chungyuan (UTC+08:00), and Changpai (UTC+08:30).
After the defeat of Beiyang government in 1928, the mission of the Central Observatory was moved to Nanjing, and the reference time standard used for the construction of traditional Chinese Calendar was shifted from Beijing Mean Solar Time to UTC+08:00.
In the 1930s, the proposed five time zones had not been fully observed, causing regions in inner China area to adopt their own time standards, resulting in chaos. On 9 March 1939, when the Ministry of the Interior organized a Standard Time Conference in Chongqing, it was decided to adopt the five time zone proposal with slight modification of their borders starting from 1 June, however it was also decided that the entire country would use the Kansu-Szechwan Time (UTC+07:00) during the Second Sino-Japanese War which began at the time.
Following the end of World War II, the five time zone system was resumed, although there is little information about the historical usage of time in the Kunlun and Changpai zones. A further refined system with adjustment to zone assignment in the Northwest part of Gansu was announced in 1947 for adoption in 1948. However, as the Chinese Civil War came to its end in 1949–1950, regional governments under the influence of the Communist Party of China, other than those in Xinjiang and Tibet, switched to use the same time as Beijing, which is UTC+08:00, and is later known as Beijing Time or China Standard Time.
There are two independent sources that claim the Communist Party of China, and/or the People's Republic of China, were using apparent solar time for Beijing Time before the period between 27 September 1949 and 6 October 1949, and they adopted the time of UTC+08:00 within that period of time, but the claim is dubious.
Time zone changes in Tibet are undocumented, but Beijing Time was in use until at least the mid-1950s. Between 1969 and 1986, the time zone was switched repeatedly between Xinjiang Time (UTC+06:00) and Beijing Time.
Daylight saving time was observed from 1945 to 1948, and from 1986 to 1991.
In 1997 and 1999, Hong Kong and Macau were transferred to China from the United Kingdom and Portugal respectively, being established as special administrative regions. Although the sovereignty of the SARs belongs to China, they retain their own policies regarding time zones for historical reasons. Due to their geographical locations, both are within the UTC+08:00 time zone, which is the same as the national standard, Beijing time.
As an illustration of the wide range, the daylight hours (Beijing Time) for the seats of the westernmost (both including and not including Xinjiang due to local customs, see below) and easternmost counties, calculated for the year 2010, are shown here:
|Location||County||Province||1 January||1 July|
|Westernmost||Akto||Xinjiang||10:16 – 19:44||07:34 – 22:26|
|Westernmost (not including Xinjiang)||Zanda||Tibet||09:40 – 19:48||07:39 – 21:50|
|Easternmost||Fuyuan||Heilongjiang||06:54 – 15:18||03:05 – 19:08|
The border with Afghanistan at the Wakhjir Pass has the most significant official change of clocks for any international land frontier: UTC+08:00 in China to UTC+04:30 in Afghanistan.
In Xinjiang, two time standards are used in parallel, namely Beijing Time and Xinjiang Time.
Xinjiang Time, also known as Ürümqi Time (Chinese :乌鲁木齐时间; pinyin :Wūlǔmùqí Shíjiān), is set due to its geographical location in the westernmost part of the country. The time offset is UTC+06:00, which is two hours behind Beijing, and is shared with neighbouring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Some local Xinjiang authorities now use both time standards side by side.Television stations schedule programmes in different time standards according to their nature.
The coexistence of two time zones within the same region causes some confusion among the local population, especially when inter-racial communication occurs. When a time is mentioned in conversation between Han and Uyghur, it is necessary to either explicitly make clear whether the time is in Xinjiang Time or Beijing Time, or convert the time according to the ethnicity of the other party.The double time standard is particularly observable in Xinjiang Television, which schedules its Chinese channel according to Beijing time and its Uyghur and Kazakh channels according to Xinjiang time.
Regardless, Beijing Time users in Xinjiang usually schedule their daily activities two hours later than those who live in eastern China. As such, stores and offices in Xinjiang are commonly open from 10am to 7pm Beijing Time, which equals 8am to 5pm in Ürümqi Time.This is known as the work/rest time in Xinjiang.
In most areas of Xinjiang, the opening time of local authorities is additionally modified by shifting the morning session 30–60 minutes earlier and the afternoon session 30 minutes later to extend the lunch break for 60–90 minutes, so as to avoid the intense heat during noon time in the area during summer.
Hong Kong and Macau maintain their own time authorities after transfer of sovereignty in 1997 and 1999 respectively. The Hong Kong Time (Chinese:香港時間; Jyutping:hoeng1 gong2 si4 gaan3) and Macau Standard Time (Chinese:澳門標準時間; Jyutping:ou3 mun2 biu1 zeon2 si4 gaan3; Portuguese : Hora Oficial de Macau ) are both UTC+08:00 all year round, thus in line with Beijing time, and daylight saving time has not been used since 1979 in Hong Kong and 1980 in Macau. In Hong Kong, Greenwich Mean Time was adopted as the basis in 1904, and UTC was adopted as a standard in 1972. Before that, local time was determined by astronomical observations at Hong Kong Observatory using a [ clarify ].
The territory of the People's Republic of China is covered in the IANA time zone database by the following zones. "Asia/Shanghai" is used instead of "Asia/Beijing" because Shanghai is the most populous location in the zone.
Columns marked with * are from the file zone.tab of the database.
|c.c.*||coordinates*||TZ*||comments*||Standard time||Summer time||Notes|
The following zones, including Asia/Kashgar, Asia/Chongqing, and Asia/Harbin, are kept in the "backzone" file of the IANA time zone database for backward compatibility.
|c.c.*||coordinates*||TZ*||comments*||Standard time||Summer time||Notes|
|CN||Asia/Harbin||UTC+08:00||—||linked back to Asia/Shanghai|
|CN||Asia/Chongqing||UTC+08:00||—||linked back to Asia/Shanghai|
|CN||Asia/Kashgar||UTC+08:00||—||linked back to Asia/Ürümqi|
A time zone is an area which observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries between countries and their subdivisions instead of strictly following longitude, because it is convenient for areas in frequent communication to keep the same time.
Ürümqi, formerly known as Dihua, is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of the People's Republic of China. Ürümqi developed its reputation as a leading cultural and commercial center during the Qing dynasty in the 19th century.
The Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone observes Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time (HST) by subtracting ten hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−10:00). The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 150th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory.
Hong Kong Time is the time in Hong Kong, observed at UTC+08:00 all year round. The Hong Kong Observatory is the official timekeeper of the Hong Kong Time. It is indicated as Asia/Hong_Kong in the IANA time zone database.
China Xinjiang Airlines was a Chinese airline owned by CAAC. It had its headquarters on the property of Diwopu International Airport in Urumqi. It was based in Ürümqi and had a secondary hub in Changzhou in Jiangsu province.
UTC+08:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of +08:00.
Chaiwopu Lake is a freshwater lake located in Dabancheng District, some 45 km southeast of Ürümqi, in Xinjiang, China. The lake receives water from several streams from the Bogda Shan range.
Macau Standard Time is the time in Macau. The time is UTC+8 all year round, and daylight saving time has not been applied since 1980.
Urumqi Television Station (UTV) is a state-owned television station in Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China. It was established in April, 1985 as a cable network and started broadcasting on September 28 in the same year. Its logo is shaped in red after Hong Shan, the city's landmark mountain.
Ürümqi South railway station is a railway station of the Lanzhou–Xinjiang, Northern Xinjiang and the Second Ürümqi–Jinghe railways. The station is located in Ürümqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. The name of the station was Ürümqi railway station from 1962 until September 1, 2014. This name is now assigned to the newly built high-speed railway station of the Lanzhou–Ürümqi High-Speed Railway.
The time zones of China refer to the time zone divisions used in China between 1918 and 1949. The first time zone plan was proposed by the Central Observatory of the Beiyang government in Peking (Beijing) in 1918. The proposal divided the country into five time zones: Kunlun (UTC+05:30), Sinkiang-Tibet (UTC+06:00), Kansu-Szechwan (UTC+07:00), Chungyuan (UTC+08:00) and Changpai (UTC+08:30). These time zones were ratified in 1939 by the Nationalist government in the Standard Time Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Interior of Executive Yuan. Because of the Second Sino-Japanese War, it was also stated that Kansu-Szechwan time shall be the sole national time during the war time. After the war in 1945, these five times zones were implemented national widely. In 1949, after the Chinese Civil War, the Central People's Government abolished the five time zones and announced to use a single time zone UTC+08:00 named Beijing Time (北京时间). The term Chungyuan Standard Time (中原標準時間) was still used by the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan until the early 2000s.
The Beijing–Ürümqi Expressway, commonly referred to as the Jingxin Expressway is an expressway that connects the cities of Beijing, China, and Ürümqi, Xinjiang. It opened in July 2017 measuring 2,540 km (1,580 mi) in length. It is noted for being the world's longest desert highway, passing through several deserts part of the Gobi Desert, such as the Ulan Buh Desert, the Tengger Desert and the Badain Jaran Desert.
The Ürümqi Metro or Ürümqi Subway is a rapid transit system in operation in Ürümqi, capital of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in China.
The 1989 Ürümqi unrest, also known as the 19 May riots in Ürümqi took place in the city of Ürümqi, capital of Xinjiang in China in May 1989, which began with Muslim protesters marched and finally escalated into violent attack against Xinjiang CPC office tower at People's Square on 19 May 1989.
Ürümqi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a bus rapid transit system in Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China. It began trial operations in August, 2011 and official operation in September.
On the morning of 22 May 2014, two sport utility vehicles (SUVs) carrying five assailants were driven into a busy street market in Ürümqi, the capital of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Up to a dozen explosives were thrown at shoppers from the windows of the SUVs. The SUVs crashed into shoppers, then collided with each other and exploded. 43 people were killed, including 4 of the assailants, and more than 90 wounded, making this the deadliest attack of the Xinjiang conflict. The event was designated as a terrorist attack.
Xinjiang Time, also known as Ürümqi Time, is a time standard used in Xinjiang, China. It is used alongside Beijing Time, which is widely observed by the rest of the country. The time offset is UTC+06:00, which is two hours behind Beijing Time and is the same offset used by Kyrgyzstan and most of Kazakhstan. This offset accounts for Xinjiang's geographical location in the westernmost part of China.
Urumqi Glacier No.1 or Urumqi River Glacier No.1, Tianshan Glacier No.1, is the glacier closest to an urban area in the world, located only 120 km southwest to downtown Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China. As a major source of the Urumqi River, Glacier No.1 lies in the north slope of Tiangeer II Peak in the middle section of Tian Shan and it is within Ürümqi County.
Urumqi Confucius Temple, or Urumqi Confucian Temple, is a Confucian temple located at No. 15, north side of Qianjin Road (前进路), Tianshan District, Urumqi City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.Built in the late Qing Dynasty, Urumqi Confucius Temple is the only well-preserved Qing Dynasty style temple complex in Xinjiang, and is the only remaining Confucian temple in Xinjiang.
Urumqi Time (GMT+6) is 2 hours behind Beijing Time