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HSK Coursebook (HSK规范教程) 6上, p.7.
[Google Translate]: According to statistics from authoritative organizations, in addition to smoking, genetics, etc., infection is also one of the important causes of cancer. 17% of global cancers are caused by infections such as bacteria and viruses, but developed countries account for 7% and developing countries account for 17%. The reason for this difference is that developed countries can prevent infections more efficiently.

I'm trying to understand what the two statistics in bold refer to: 7% of what? 17% of what?

My guess is that it's saying (a) infections cause 17% of global cancers, (b) infections cause 7% of cancers in developing countries, and (c) infections cause 17% of cancers in developed countries. However, this seems mathematically impossible unless there are countries which are neither 发达国家 nor 发展中国家.

Question: What does 发达国家占7%,发展中国家占17% in the textbook 规范教程HSK6上 refer to?

3 Answers 3


According to my limited arithmetic capabilities, 7 + 10 = 17, so probably a typo.

As you say, unless there is a category of countries outside of [developed, developing] 全球 should refer to these two categories.

apart from smoking and hereditary factors etc.
infection is one of the important causes of cancer.
17% of cancers worldwide are caused by bacterial or viral infections
however developed nations only account for only 7% of these cases,
whereas developing nations account for 10% of these cases.

  • Unless it was: 0% and 17% 😉
    – Mou某
    Jan 6 at 16:07


Again, we need to know the full context to understand why this sentence was written this way. Let me try to change a word to make it more clear, but may not fit the tone the writer wanted to deliver.


Now the sentence is a style of direct reporting the statistics.

It seems the disproportional ratio between the developed countries and the developing countries contradicts another set of data, such as source allocation. The inequality was the focus of the writer, so the use of 但 (but).

  1. I think it is clear that the writer is referring to infection-induced cancers specifically, because 发达国家能 有效率地防治感染 explains why there is a difference in the prevalence of infection between 发达国家 and 发展中国家, and by extension, the prevalence of infection-induced cancers, and not the overall prevalence.

  2. It is possible that there is a third category, 最不发达国家 (least developed countries). From Wiki:


Perhaps data were not collected in LDCs? Or the writer omitted the discussion of LDCs deliberately to better contrast developed and developing countries? There is no solid proof, but this should not affect our logical judgment in point 1. In any case, I think the two 17% are just a coincidence.

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