Embarrassing Chapters in Chinese History

Guess these people, places, and things in Chinese history that the country would probably rather forget.
Make sure to check out the Embarrassing Histories of other countries too!
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
Last updated: April 15, 2020
First submittedMay 3, 2018
Times taken10,983
Rating3.67
4:00
Enter answer here
0
 / 20 guessed
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
Scoring
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your fastest time is
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
Hint
Answer
For over 150 years, this part of China is controlled by the United Kingdom
Hong Kong
Democracy protestors are slaughtered in this square in Beijing
Tiananmen Square
Mao starts this "Revolution", in which young people are encouraged to brutalize
and humiliate class enemies such as teachers
Cultural Revolution
A terrible famine is made worse thanks to Mao's campaign to kill this type of bird
Sparrow
Mao encourges everyday people to make this industrial material in backyard furnaces
Steel
Economic policies like the above, which kill tens of millions of people,
are collectively known as this
Great Leap
Forward
Western powers force China to accept shipments of this addictive drug
Opium
The Chinese River dolphin, native to this river, is driven to extinction
in the late 20th century
Yangtze River
Due to extreme pollution, factories are forced to close before this 2008 event
Summer Olympics
Foxconn factories in this industrial city install nets to reduce the suicide rate of workers
Shenzhen
This Mongol warlord conquers China
Kublai Khan
Manchus conquer China and force the men to adopt this hairstyle
Queue
For almost 1000 years, as many as half of all women are forced to endure
this crippling body modification
Foot Binding
During the Ming dynasty, the government employs 100,000 of these type of people,
considered trustworthy because they could bear no children
Eunuchs
Tens of millions die in the Taiping Rebellion after a man named Hong Xiuquan
proclaims himself to be the brother of this religious figure
Jesus Christ
This country establishes the puppet state of Manchukuo in northern China
Japan
Christian monks from the Byzantine Empire steal the secret for
making this luxurious fabric
Silk
Despite having the world's largest population, China has only qualified for this event
one time, when they went 0-3 with 9 goals allowed and none scored
FIFA World Cup
In 2013, a zoo in the city of Louhe defrauds patrons by displaying a dog that
they claim is this type of animal
Lion
This pandemic is unleashed after someone in China eats a bat (or maybe a pangolin),
which the Chinese government then attempts to cover up
Covid-19
+6
Level 61
May 3, 2018
Nothing about Three Gorges Dam? It’s impressive, but it flooded many coastal towns and cities.
+9
Level 72
May 3, 2018
Coastal towns and cities were fine - one of the dam's stated purposes was downstream flood mitigation. It was the area around the dam itself, almost a thousand kilometres from the sea that was flooded by the reservoir.
+2
Level 77
May 4, 2018
However, numerous towns and cities, not necessarily coastal, were evacuated and essentially erased to make room for reservoirs.
+3
Level 80
Sep 29, 2018
I'd say that's more impressive than embarrassing. It's not like they flooded them on accident or without evacuating people first.
+8
Level 49
Sep 29, 2018
It was also a large part of what drove the River Dolphin to extinction. I'd say it's not so much embarrassing as very, very sad.
+1
Level 58
May 30, 2020
The Chinese government certainly could have handled the relocation of people displaced by the dam better but the dam project has saved countless lives. If China wants to be embarrassed about anything they can point to their history of incredibly destructive wars.
+28
Level 78
May 3, 2018
Losing at ping pong to Forrest Gimp must've smarted a bit too.
+25
Level 71
May 4, 2018
Embarrassing enough for them to remove the scene from versions of the film shown in China
+1
Level 81
Apr 20, 2019
But I bet they leave in the scene where Little Forrest whoops him.
+40
Level 74
May 3, 2018
I think two stains on Chinese history - the Tibetan invasion of 1950, and their current attempt to "invade" the South China Sea - would qualify as embarrassing chapters. Maybe they think bullying their neighbours is more a matter of pride than embarrassment, even if to outsiders it is obviously the former.
+24
Level 75
May 10, 2018
Well said Jerry. Not to mention the continual bullying of the democratic nation of Taiwan.
+19
Level 74
May 27, 2018
Besides Tibet, the failed invasion of Vietnam in 1979 and destroying their then technologically advanced "treasure fleet" by the 1500s or so seem to me pretty embarrassing.
+5
Level 81
Apr 20, 2019
These all seem like things that could replace some schmuck dressing up a pet dog as a 600-pound cat.
+3
Level 67
Apr 17, 2020
That is indeed often how it works, the thing that one takes pride in is often cringeworthy to the other/rest (after which the first then adamantly claims is jealousy..and then the others sigh shake their head and realize they can never convince the first one that their view is objective and it would keep going around in circles (the more you are trying to convince people there is a flaw in their view/conviction/claim, the more they will try to defend it. Often by bending logical arguments of the other party in ridiculous ways to suit their own view)
+7
Level 62
May 30, 2020
Also the ongoing Hong Kong protests and just how poorly China's been reacting to them probably deserves to be on this list.
+4
Level 61
Jun 3, 2020
And don't forget the Muslim concentration camps
+1
Level 36
Aug 28, 2020
Not quite. Tibet and South Sea have been considered sovereign territory throughout history. It's western propaganda that makes you think otherwise.
+3
Level 82
May 3, 2018
It would be nice to have the year mentioned in the question about the massacre in Beijing. Now it sounds like it is ongoing.
+3
Level 72
May 3, 2018
I think 'pig iron' is probably a better answer than steel, and should at least be accepted.
+2
Level 80
May 4, 2018
Iron works though.
+2
Level 80
May 3, 2018
Never heard of the hairstyle before. Tried "mullet." Got the rest.
+2
Level 78
Sep 29, 2018
All I could think of was pigtail, but it was accepted.
+2
Level 81
Apr 20, 2019
Pig tails are on the sides though. Young Chinese girls wear pigtails; women don't.
I couldn't get it with pony tail or braid.
+1
Level 67
Apr 17, 2020
The queue is not for women, it is for men only and it was no a hairstyle as in ow how will I wear my hair today, not a fashion. But a compulsory thing, with execution as punishment if failed to comply and many have been murdered because of this (not mandatory since 1910 anymore). It is not just a ponytail either, yes, the back is long, but the front of the head must be shaven.
+1
Level 78
May 30, 2020
I googled the definition to be sure, and it said a pigtail hangs either from the back of the head or the sides. Another source said a pigtail is braided while a ponytail is not, and the queue is usually braided, so it would make sense to me to accept braid, too, but after reading Sifhraven's comment I wonder if either should be accepted.
+2
Level 61
May 4, 2018
Can you accept "Beijing Olympics" too?
+1
Level ∞
May 4, 2018
Okay
+1
Level 60
May 4, 2018
Can you accept Tienanmen ?
+7
Level 73
Sep 29, 2018
only if you'll accept Ingredertan
+6
Level 81
Apr 20, 2019
How about Tin Men?
+1
Level 67
Apr 17, 2020
Or Tianmen ... I missed an an... I thought I had finally remembered the word..
+13
Level 84
May 7, 2018
How about the One Child Policy? How many children ended up aborted because they were the wrong gender or at the bottom of a well?
+11
Level 53
Jun 14, 2018
It's a common misconception that second children in the One-Child days were always aborted. There was a fee and a higher tax structure attached to families who had more than one child, but it wasn't as if the government drove around in abortion vans. With all the crowding and booming populations that China has now, can you imagine what kind of overpopulation troubles that county would be facing if they didn't use the One Child Policy? I'm not saying it was the best idea, but I wouldn't think it at all qualifies as an "embarrassing chapter" in China's history.
+14
Level 83
Jun 15, 2018
But it never required abortion vans; just the existence of the One-Child policy meant many families pursued abortion in instances where they may not have, especially if their first child was a girl (the preference for a male heir is still considerable).

So your question of "what kind of overpopulation would they have" is the wrong one in my mind, since the policy led to their current youth demographic, which is heavily skewed to males. A good article on this here.
+1
Level 73
Jul 10, 2018
This policy could be and was largely avoided with a few tricks. The rich went overseas, or simply HK/Macau and when the child is not born in China, no problem. The poorer, but smart with a few strings to pull could simply 'move' to countryside (where, if the first child was a girl, a second was allowed). And many children could be given to relatives for care and hide (give, they'd be/are paperless and therefore in a huge risk of abuse) and so on. Basically you could say this was a limitation of 'riffraff' or sorts. The non-Han Chinese could have more kids by default, as every Chinese has been telling me.

If you want to see what would have happened without the one child policy, you can direct your eyes to India and their esp. lower cast males' problem and the rape-rampage and who knows what other social problems will pop up.

As what comes to Tibet, it was ripe and there for the taking. Not an independent country at all, as some seem to believe. China got there first.
+2
Level 71
Apr 17, 2020
They weren't all aborted, but a LOT were. Just look at the gender imbalance. How do you explain that if girls weren't getting aborted or abandoned at birth?
+4
Level 69
Apr 20, 2020
@PrinceEric, the "fee" you mentioned was equal to multiple-year salaries. I strongly recommend you and everyone interested to watch John Oliver's video on the One Child Policy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE_ccFHjL_w&t=
He gives great examples what was wrong with the policy and how many people are suffering even today because of it. I'll give two examples:
A woman was forced to abort her baby in the ninth month, because it turned out that her husband had a baby from a previous marriage.
There are millions of people, born as second children in poor families, who don't exist in any official documents, don't have an ID card and because of this can't work or study.
+1
Level 47
Sep 29, 2018
Abortion vans? What a fantastic idea!
+1
Level 36
Aug 28, 2020
I think you mean preference for boys. One Child Policy actually prevented overpopulation. It's not the problem. Sexism is the problem.
+1
Level 75
Sep 23, 2018
Great quiz! 100% and I feel like I earned it with this one, having never been there.
+9
Level 80
Sep 29, 2018
This website just got blocked in China.
+2
Level 64
Sep 29, 2018
I can't tell if you are kidding or not.
+3
Level 73
Sep 29, 2018
Kidding, apparently: https://www.comparitech.com/privacy-security-tools/blockedinchina/#gref
+1
Level 66
Apr 9, 2019
I'm current taking quizzes on this site in China (which is also where I live).
+1
Level 66
Apr 9, 2019
I've lived in China for 16 years but got 18/18 on this quiz.
+4
Level ∞
May 31, 2020
Honestly, I can't believe we're not banned given that we make absolutely zero effort to kowtow to the powers that be. We're probably just too small to be on the radar.
+1
Level 38
May 30, 2020
I live in China and I am answering your comment. It is not blocked.
+3
Level 36
Sep 29, 2018
With the level in censorship in China, I think a fair amount of these have either a) been totally blocked from public knowledge or b) spun into positive things for China. The rest of the world may like to forget these things happened to China, but most of China either already forgot or is totally ok with this list.
+1
Level 45
Sep 29, 2018
It's TiEnanmen, not TiAnanmen
+1
Level 70
Sep 29, 2018
strike one.
+1
Level 73
Sep 29, 2018
In Italian, not in English transcription.
+3
Level 49
Sep 29, 2018
I wouldn't say that the Opium Wars were an embarrassment for China. For the western powers, yes, but China, not so sure.
+5
Level 65
Oct 7, 2018
Well, that period of their history is referred to as the Century of Humiliation. It also included things like losing territory to Russia and being mightily pushed around by Japan. The British vandalized imperial grounds in Beijing. The whole thing caused them great national embarrassment. Many of their efforts today are aimed at erasing that period from the national consciousness.
+2
Level 47
Oct 11, 2019
They were embarrassing. The Qing couldn't repress it and had to give up land as a result of the war. They thought they were beyond superior and believe they could win using old tactics. After the Xinhai Revolution, the nationalists/Yuan Shikai stopped opium.
+3
Level 70
May 30, 2020
Embarrassing for the Chinese, but shameful for the UK.
+4
Level 66
May 31, 2020
Most of UK's history "abroad" is shameful tbh
+18
Level 65
Sep 29, 2018
Plus that time a bull destroyed their entire shop.
+3
Level 78
Feb 15, 2020
Nearly spit my coffee out! LOL!!!
+1
Level 45
Sep 29, 2018
Good quiz. I didn't know many of these things.
+3
Level 45
Oct 6, 2018
Good quiz! Might I suggest the addition of the Boxer Rebellion though? Indiscriminately killing all foreigners and nearly all Chinese Christians is pretty embarrassing in my opinion. I was pretty surprised that it wasn't on the quiz. Otherwise a very good quiz though! :)
+2
Level 47
Oct 11, 2019
What's more embarrassing is the Qing Dynasty supported it
+1
Level 58
Mar 25, 2019
I think pony tail should be accepted for the Manchu hairstyle question.
+1
Level 67
Apr 17, 2020
If you or your kid goes to a hairdresser and ask for a ponytail and end up with a manchu hairstyle, I think there will be trouble.. somebody will be having a bad day..
+1
Level 78
May 30, 2020
It wouldn't surprise me if it came back sometime as the next big thing among the kids. It's not that different from a mohawk.
+4
Level 73
Jul 1, 2019
The lion incident is comparatively...really trivial to others.
+1
Level 47
Oct 11, 2019
How about Yuan Shikai? He became president of the new republic but quickly named himself as Emperor till he was forced to resume his role as president before dying. Founder of the republic Sun Yixian (Sun Yat-Sen) accused him of "tearing up the constitution". To be fair he did increase his powers to that of a dictator before becoming emperor and once he died, China fell into the Warlord period...
+8
Level 74
Apr 16, 2020
the question about bearing children should be reworded. Men cannot bear children, whether they are castrated or not. Perhaps "father children" or similar term is better than "bear"
+2
Level 67
Apr 17, 2020
Agreed, they have no gestation period and does not give birth, so bearing is not a word you can use here.

If you really want to use the word bear. You would have to construct a different sentence. Though uncommon, saying a woman bears a man a child is the correct construct. So you would get something like "because women could not bear them any children". But that is weird cause the problem seems to be on the women's side like this.

Or sire "they could sire no children"

Or just keep it plain modern English and say conceive (I wanted to use simpler terms like get, have or father, but then you might get people saying but what about adoption..)

+8
Level 71
Apr 16, 2020
The wording for the World Cup one is very strange - "0-3" would never be used to describe the outcome of matches (just say they lost all three games), and goals are conceded, not "allowed". Sorry for nitpicking, excellent quiz nonetheless!
+1
Level 65
Jun 2, 2020
Thank goodness someone else pointed this one out. I was wondering how on earth they lost 3-0 and had 9 goals allowed (so they lost despite scoring 9 goals, seems unlikely)! Just say they lost three matches and conceded 9 goals, not difficult.
+3
Level 83
Apr 16, 2020
Nothing on Winnie the Pooh yet?
+9
Level 72
Apr 16, 2020
Re last question: really??? Has the site just been bought up by Fox News??
+5
Level 72
Apr 16, 2020
There is plenty of back-and-forth around quiz questions on the site, but with thousands of people dying of this every day, a statement like that is truly pathetic.
+9
Level ∞
Apr 16, 2020
Take a look at your user name and try your comment again please.
+11
Level 73
Apr 17, 2020
Even as a game, the last question is really poor. It is not based on anything, and I don't see how dying from a disease can be considered embarassing. Or if you meant the bat thing, how that is more embarrassing then eating pork or ham.
+4
Level 72
Apr 17, 2020
Apparently I can't reply to you, so I'll add this to my previous comments. The reason I chose that username was because people get angry about spellings, etc. - trivial things. That's a bit different to mass global death. I've been using this site for years, as well as encouraging as many of my friends and family as possible to join. I've never seen such a baseless, ignorant and insulting clue in all that time. How many of us do you suppose have a friend or relative who has either died, or is currently close to death, as a direct result of this? If you haven't thought of that, try now.
+3
Level 83
May 30, 2020
If you ask me the most embarrassing thing about all of this is how badly Trump continues to screw things up for everyone, but that's more embarrassing for the US rather than China.
+1
Level 38
May 30, 2020
Quizmaster what? I thought you are a nice guy.
+1
Level ∞
May 31, 2020
I have a disagreeable personality type. It's good that people like me exist but it isn't always pleasant to be around us. I like to stand up for people and ideas that aren't popular.
+5
Level 67
Apr 17, 2020
What was it, a bat or a pangolin. It is not like they are so much alike. A mutated flying pangolin perhaps? ;)

My neighbour broke into my house! Or that foreign guy from the market. I am not sure which but it was definitely him!!

But seriously I think it is a bit premature to state as fact. You can't state something as fact if they don''t even know what animal. It is still all maybes and perhaps. It is known bats are hosts of many (corona)viruses so not unlikely it was the carrier of this particular coronavirus, but not proven yet, just offered as a likely route. Like how the most shady looking guy with a record might be picked as prime suspect. It is not proof he did it.

Especialy with so many contradictions going around (and I am not talking about members of the public, but by officials) they seem to change their mind (or change what they decide to tell the general public) every few days. (like pets can't get it, objects are totally safe, mask are useless..)

+2
Level 72
Apr 17, 2020
Well said. This being a quiz site, most contentious questions/answers are referring to past events which have been subjected to at least some degree of historical analysis. This is a current and ongoing event subject to huge amounts of current and ongoing research.
+1
Level 68
Apr 21, 2020
Fox News? The Washington Post has reliable reporting that the Chinese government were using the wet markets as a cover to conceal flagrant incompetence at nearby labs where they were testing, guess what, coronaviruses in bats. It might indeed be too soon to say for sure, but it is certainly looking like that is the most likely origin of COVID-19. But of course, you should feel free go on crediting every story you don't like to Fox News conspiracies.
+2
Level 61
May 30, 2020
Yeah, I'm kind of surprised that a question like that is even allowed, given that this is a huge grey area at the moment. Short of an inquiry into the outbreak, we have no idea, but I haven't heard any concrete evidence supporting a cover up.
+2
Level 65
Apr 16, 2020
The Taiping Rebellion makes for a hell of an interesting read.
+1
Level 72
Apr 17, 2020
I second that. One thing I love about sites like this is that they encourage people to expand their knowledge. Hopefully the most recently-added question will prompt people to do their own research as well, albeit for different reasons.
+4
Level 73
Apr 26, 2020
I reckon the Chinese soccer team didn't on purpose "allow" those nine goals through. Better choice of phrase would be they "conceded" nine goals.
+2
Level 65
May 30, 2020
It might be different elsewhere, but in the US, "goals allowed" is the more common term.
+1
Level 65
Jun 2, 2020
But it says they had 9 goals allowed, which means they scored 9 goals. Doesn't make sense anywhere! Even if we said allowed instead of the correct 'conceded', it should read "with 9 goals allowed against them".
+4
Level 49
May 30, 2020
Uighurs?
+5
Level 65
May 30, 2020
Might want to add "men's" to the World Cup clue somewhere. The Chinese women's team is a regular fixture in the World Cup.
+2
Level 80
May 30, 2020
At least Foxconn is providing healthcare for its workers.
+1
Level 73
May 30, 2020
BBC and CNN spell the zoo city Louhe, but there seems to be only a Luohe. Strange.
+1
Level 70
May 30, 2020
I don't think "everyday people" is a good expression, what would that even mean? 'Common people', or in this case 'farmers' would be better.
+2
Level 78
May 30, 2020
Sly and the Family Stone explained it very well.
+1
Level 57
May 30, 2020
Accept FIFA for the FIFA World Cup
+3
Level 57
May 30, 2020
the event is called the world cup, fifa is only the organization
+2
Level 38
May 30, 2020
Cosenza fifa world cup is the full name, and yes, fifa is a football organization.
+2
Level 43
May 31, 2020
Does anyone else find it satisfying when the CCP's errors are broadcast on the internet? I can't fathom how the leaders of China justify the way they treat so many of their people, and how they always feel no shame and cover it up. I had to explain what the Tienanmen Square Massacre was to my friends who grew up in China!
+1
Level 44
May 31, 2020
Xi Jinping is gonna ban this website in China for this
+2
Level 56
May 31, 2020
Given how USA-centred Jetpunk quizzes are, how about we start an embarrassing chapters in USA history? Will be even more fun as it could be a series of quizzes that cover all the embarrassing chapters of the US for each decade since 200+ years of its founding.
+2
Level ∞
May 31, 2020
You mean like this one?
+2
Level 60
Jun 2, 2020
The entire history of the US is an embarrassment
+1
Level 50
Jun 1, 2020
Typo in the hint beginning with "Mao encourges"
+1
Level 53
Jun 1, 2020
it's kind of funny how Mao Zedong had something to do with almost all the answers yet he's still regarded as a hero
+1
Level 47
Jun 1, 2020
please accept yangzi (please, im begging)
+1
Level 60
Jun 2, 2020
What kind of BS propaganda is this? XD
+1
Level 74
Jul 8, 2020
I might be mistaken, but aren't all eunuchs men? And aren't all men unable to bear children (except Arnold, obviously)? That clue made me confused...
+1
Level 44
Aug 17, 2020
I do NOT think that the last question is true. There really isn't much evidence.