It’s one of the first bits of Chinese almost every foreigner learns; that “Zhong Guo” means “central country”.
Now, users of the ubiquitous WeChat social media tool are being reminded of this “fact” every time they start up the APP.
In the last 24 hours, the iconic WeChat splash screen featuring a human overlaid on a famous photo of the Earth taken back in 1972 by NASA has been replaced by a newly captured Chinese image, one that conveniently places China in the centre.
While there are less than subtle political overtones, the reality is a little more practical. China has not been able to take such a photo before now. The new image is one of the first from the Feng Yun-4A weather satellite, which, after a launch late last year, has been undergoing months of testing.
Feng Yun-4A lies in a geosynchronous orbit at 104.7° E, with an altitude of 35 thousand kilometres, the kind height necessary to frame the entire world in one photo.
It all leaves us wondering might might be next for the WeChat splash screen; a black ponytail perhaps?