Huang Cheng, who only began competing internationally this year, took advantage of the strong tail-wind at Eton Dorney to take nearly five seconds out of Tom Aggar's previous world best time.
Huang's success came minutes after Britain's Aggar opened the defence of his title with victory in what was a Paralympic record time.
France's Perle Bouge and Stephane Tardieu then broke the world Mixed Double Sculls record in winning their heat - only for China's Lou Xiaoxian and Fei Tianming to lower it again in the very next race.
The records continued to fall at Eton Dorney with Germany's Mixed Coxed Fours - LTAMix4+ - Anke Molkenthin, Astrid Hengsbach, Tino Kolitscher, Kai Kruse and cox Katrin Splitt - taking over six seconds out of the world's best time in winning their heat.
Ukraine's Alla Lysenko also set a new Paralympic best time in the women's Single Sculls - ASW1x.
But it was Huang's performance which caused the most excitement as the Chinese oarsman laid down the gauntlet to Aggar, who is unbeaten in international competition for five years.
'I have trained hard. Rowing means a lot in my life. I am happy to compete in my first Paralympics,' Huang said.
Russia's Aleksey Chuvashev also finished inside the old world best time.
In the Mixed Double Sculls, the French crew Bouge and Tardieu came from behind Britain's Nick Beighton and Samantha Scowen to win the heat, and secure their place in Sunday's final, in world best time.
But China's Lou and Fei immediately regained the honour, breaking the four-minute barrier to set a new world best time of 3:54.92.
Germany's Mixed Coxed Fours continued the record-breaking feats as they won the first heat in 3:15.91, over six seconds faster than the previous world best time set by Canada in 2010.
World champions Great Britain qualified for Sunday's final as winners of the second heat.