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Historical time zones of China

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Title: Historical time zones of China  
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Historical time zones of China

The time zones of the areas claimed by the Republic of China (from 1912 to 1949)

In 1912, the Central Observatory of the Republic of China in Peking (now romanised as Beijing) divided the country into five time zones, namely Kunlun Time Zone (GMT+5.5), Sinkiang-Tibet Time Zone (GMT+6), Kansu-Szechuan Time Zone (GMT+7), Chungyuan Standard Time Zone (GMT+8), and Changpai Time Zone (GMT+8.5). These time zones were ratified in 1939 in the standard time conference of the Ministry of Interior of the Executive Yuan.

These time zones were no longer in effective use after 1949, in the Chinese Civil War when the People's Republic of China was established on mainland China. The People's Republic of China uses a single time zone (GMT+8) for the whole country, although GMT+6 is also used unofficially in Xinjiang and Tibet. The Republic of China on Taiwan continued to use Chungyuan Standard Time Zone as the official name of the time zone in the remaining territories under its effective jurisdiction, however in recent decades this use has been largely deprecated.


The Kunlun Time Zone (Chinese: 崑崙時區; pinyin: Kūnlún Shíqū) was assigned to the area around the Kunlun mountain ranges in the far west of China, based on the time on the longitude 82°30′E. Administrative divisions within this time zone were:


The Sinkiang-Tibet Time Zone (Chinese: 新藏時區; pinyin: Xīn-Zàng Shíqū) was named after the administrative divisions of Sinkiang and Tibet, which had the majority of their land lying in this time zone. The time zone also covered the western halves of their neighbouring administrative divisions. The time in this time zone was based on that on the longitude 90°E. Administrative divisions within this time zone included:

  • eastern part of the Sinkiang Province (now Xinjiang Autonomous Region of the PRC)
  • eastern part of the Tibet Region (now part of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the PRC)
  • western part of Tsinghai Province (now transliterated as Qinghai Province by the PRC)
  • western part of Sikang Province (now part of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Sichuan Province of the PRC)
  • the western part of the Mongolia Region (now the independent state of Mongolia).
  • the two Soviet (now Russian) republics of Tuva and Gorno-Altay


The Kansu-Szechuan Time Zone (Chinese: 隴蜀時區; pinyin: Lǒng-Shǔ Shíqū) covered the mid-western part of China, based on the longitude 105°E. Administrative divisions within this time zone were:


The Chungyuan Standard Time Zone (Chinese: 中原標準時區; pinyin: Zhōngyuán Biāozhǔn Shíqū), or Central Standard Time Zone, covered the densely populated area of the ROC, including the then capital Nanking. As political and social environments have been changing, the term "Chungyuan Standard Time" is now rarely in use in Taiwan, while National Standard Time have become the alternative. The time in this time zone was, however, based on the longitude 120°E. Administrative divisions in this time zone were:


The Changpai Time Zone (Chinese: 長白時區; pinyin: Chángbái Shíqū) covered Northeast China. Named after the Changpai mountain range on the border between China and Korea, it was based on that on the longitude 127°30′E. Administrative divisions within this time zone included:

See also

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