He is based on Chinese vampires (Jiang Shi) and possesses similar characteristics in appearance and martial arts skills these vampires. Jiang Shi are regarded as ghosts who do not walk (they only hop) and always stretch their hands in a forward position. Chiaotzu applies these techniques as he flies more than he walks and attacks his opponents with his hands stretched forward.
It is also believed that Chiaotzu may be based on the character, Nezha in Wu Cheng’s novel titled, “Journey to the West”. This is because, Nezha was portrayed as a baby with white body and an ally to Erlang Shen (a god with three eyes). This is a resemblance of the relationship between Chiatozu (white-skinned) and Tien Shinhan (a character with three eyes), in the Dragon Ball series.
Chiaotzu and Tien were trained by Master Shen with emphasis on skills that involves telekinesis and telepathy. He formed a rivalry with Krillin (Turtle School) when he was a student at Crane School and had to leave his Master, Shen alongside his best friend, Tien Shinhan. They realized the flaws of their masters’ teachings to become a trusted ally and Z Fighters.
He is human with rare features unlike most of his counterparts in the Dragon Ball series. Such unique characteristics include red cheeks and plain white skin. Chiaotzu does not have a visible nose just like Krillin. He is hairy as his head can be seen only after removing his hat. He mostly wore the Crane High School uniform as a costume in the series. However, during the latter part of The Vegeta Saga, he decided to wear a white tanktop. He also wore a blue Hanfu robe with pants and a white cloak. Even though he wears a Mongolia-style hat in the manga, he still retained the Crane School cap in the anime.
It is no longer news that Akira Toriyama possesses a knack for naming his characters after food items and other oddities. He continued this trend with Chiaotzu, who he named after the Chinese food, jiaozi (“dumplings” in English and “gyoza” in Japanese).
Chiaotzu is portrayed in The Dragon Ball series as a brave and relatively quiet character with tremendous talent in martial arts. He is kind hearted and helps his friends whenever possible and loves training with Tien Shinhan. He is a close friend of Tien and follows him in whatever he does with the belief that whatever he does is right.