gōngjīn [Chinese 公 斤]

In China, 1930–present, a unit of mass in the gong zhì simplified metric system, a unit of mass, = 1 kilogram. (United Nations, 1966.)

In 1930 the Nanjing government defined the gōngjīn = 1 kilogram = 2 shijin, but this had no more effect on actual usage than the government's making metric optional in 1915 had done. In 1959 the government again called for the use of metric units, and in 1984 the State Council ordered that only metric units were to be legal after 1990.

The ideogram “gong” may be translated “official”, “common” or “public,” or in this context “metric.”

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