Mainland China

Mainland China

Overview
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 (PRC). According to the Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

-based Mainland Affairs Council
Mainland Affairs Council
The Mainland Affairs Council is a cabinet-level administrative agency under the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China. The MAC is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of policies between the Free Area of the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, and the People's...

, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Region
Special administrative region
A special administrative region, or SAR may be:People's Republic of China* Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, self-governing country subdivision in Hong Kong and Macau...

s of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

.

There are two terms in Chinese for "mainland". Namely, Dalu , which means continent, and Neidi (内地 / 內地), literally inner land.
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Encyclopedia
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 (PRC). According to the Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

-based Mainland Affairs Council
Mainland Affairs Council
The Mainland Affairs Council is a cabinet-level administrative agency under the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China. The MAC is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of policies between the Free Area of the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, and the People's...

, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Region
Special administrative region
A special administrative region, or SAR may be:People's Republic of China* Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, self-governing country subdivision in Hong Kong and Macau...

s of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

.

There are two terms in Chinese for "mainland". Namely, Dalu , which means continent, and Neidi (内地 / 內地), literally inner land. In the PRC, the usage of the two terms are generally interchangeable and there is no prescribed method of reference in any jurisdiction. To emphasize "equal footing" in cross-strait relations
Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations refers to the relations between People's Republic of China and the Republic of China , which lie to the west and east, repectively, of the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean....

, the term is used in official contexts with reference to Taiwan, with the PRC referring to itself as "the mainland side" (as opposed to "the Taiwan side"). But in its relations with Hong Kong and Macau, the PRC government refers to itself as "the Central People's Government".

In Taiwan, the term "mainland" is often used to refer to mainland China (Hong Kong and Macau excluded), especially by the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT, "Chinese Nationalist Party") and its supporters, who share the view that China encompasses both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Since the KMT was the long-time ruling party in Taiwan, the term is in mainstream use in Taiwan and often has no political implications. Government organizations and official and legal documents in Taiwan also use "mainland" to refer to mainland China. In contrast, supporters of Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

 will refer to mainland China as "China", intending Taiwan to represent a separate country and avoid the term mainland because they believe the term implies that Taiwan is part of China.

Background


By 1949, the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

's People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 had largely defeated the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT)'s National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
The National Revolutionary Army , pre-1928 sometimes shortened to 革命軍 or Revolutionary Army and between 1928-1947 as 國軍 or National Army was the Military Arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947, as well as the national army of the Republic of China during the KMT's period of party rule...

 in the Chinese Civil War on the mainland
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

. This forced the Kuomintang to relocate the Government and institutions
Government of the Republic of China
The Republic of China was formally established by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1912 in Nanjing under the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China but this government was moved to Beijing in the same year and continued as the internationally recognized government of China until 1928. In the history...

 of the Republic of China
Republic of China (1912–1949)
In 1911, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established in China and the monarchy overthrown by a group of revolutionaries. The Qing Dynasty, having just experienced a century of instability, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism...

 to the relative safety of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, an island which was placed under the control of the Republic of China after the surrender of Japan
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

 at the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in 1945. With the establishment of the People's Republic of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 on October 1 1949, the CPC-controlled government saw itself as the sole legitimate government of China, competing with the claims of the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, whose authority is now limited to Taiwan and other islands
Free Area of the Republic of China
The Free area of the Republic of China is a legal and political description referring to the territories under the control of the government of Republic of China , consisting of the island groups of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and some minor islands...

. This has resulted in a situation in which two co-existing governments
Two Chinas
The term Two Chinas refers to the two states with "China" in their official names: People's Republic of China , commonly known as "China", established in 1949, controlling mainland China and two special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau...

 compete for international legitimacy and recognition
China and the United Nations
China's seat in the United Nations and membership of the United Nations Security Council was originally occupied by the Republic of China since October 24, 1945. During the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China repelled the government of the ROC from Mainland China to the island of...

 as the "Government of China".

The term "mainland China" emerged as a politically neutral term to refer to the area under control of the Communist Party of China, and later to the administration of the PRC itself. Until the late 1970s, both the PRC and ROC envisioned a military takeover of the other. During this time the ROC referred to the PRC government as "Communist Bandits" (共匪) while the PRC referred to the ROC as "Chiang
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

 Bandits" (蔣匪). Later, as a military solution became less feasible, the ROC referred to the PRC as "Communist China"" (中共). With the democratization of Taiwan in the 1990s, the term mainland China soon grew to mean not only the area under the control of the Communist Party of China, but also a more neutral means to refer to the People's Republic of China government; this usage remains prevalent by the KMT today.

Due to their status as colonies of foreign states during the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the term "mainland China" excludes Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

. Since the return of Hong Kong and Macau to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 and 1999
Transfer of sovereignty of Macau
The transfer of sovereignty of Macau from the Portuguese Republic to the People's Republic of China occurred on 20 December 1999. Portuguese merchants settled in Macau and governed themselves since the time of the Ming Dynasty , first establishing a foothold in 1535, though Portugal's involvement...

, respectively, the two territories have retained their legal, political, and economic systems. The territories also have their distinct identities. Therefore "mainland China" generally continues to exclude these territories, because of the "One country, two systems
One country, two systems
"One country, two systems" is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, then Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China , for the reunification of China during the early 1980s...

" policy adopted by the PRC central government
State Council of the People's Republic of China
The State Council of the People's Republic of China , which is largely synonymous with the Central People's Government after 1954, is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China. It is chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency...

 towards the regions
Special administrative region
A special administrative region, or SAR may be:People's Republic of China* Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, self-governing country subdivision in Hong Kong and Macau...

. The term is also used in economic indicators, such as the IMD
International Institute for Management Development
IMD - International Institute for Management Development is a non profit business school located in Lausanne, Switzerland.- History & Mission :...

 Competitiveness Report. International news media often use "China" to refer only to mainland China or the People's Republic of China.

In Taiwan


In Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, under the concept of "Mainlander" another comparative term often used is waishengren , which are the people who immigrated to Taiwan from mainland China with the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT) around the end of the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 in 1949, as well as their descendants born in Taiwan. The status of waishengren in Taiwan is a divisive political issue. For many years certain groups of mainlanders were given special treatment by the KMT government which had imposed martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 on Taiwan. More recently, pro-Taiwan independence politicians calling into question their loyalty and devotion to Taiwan and pro-Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China under a single political entity...

 politicians accusing the pro-independence politicians of playing identity politics. The term "Mainlander" mostly refers to daluren , meaning people who live in mainland China.

In Hong Kong and Macau


In Hong Kong and Macau, the terms "mainland China" and "mainlander" are frequently used for people from China mainland. This usage is not geographically accurate, however, as much of the land area of both Hong Kong and Macau are peninsulas connected to the continent. The Chinese term 內地, meaning the inland but still translated mainland in English, is commonly applied by SAR governments to represent non-SAR areas of PRC, including Hainan and coastal regions of mainland China, such as "Constitutional and Mainland Affairs" (政制及內地事務局) and Immigration Departments.

In the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, or Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement for short, is an economic agreement between the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China, signed on...

 (as well as the Mainland and Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) the CPG also uses the Chinese characters 内地 "inner land", with the note that they refer to the "customs territory of China".

In mainland China


In the PRC, the term 内地 ("Inland") is often contrasted with the term 境外 ("outside of the border") for things outside of the mainland region. Examples include "Administration of Foreign-funded Banks" (中華人民共和國外資銀行管理條例) or the "Measures on Administration of Representative Offices of Foreign Insurance Institutions" (外國保險機構駐華代表機構管理辦法).

In Hainan


Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 is an offshore island, therefore geographically not part of the continental mainland. Nevertheless, politically it is common practice to consider it part of the mainland because its government, legal and political systems do not differ from the rest of People's Republic of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in the geographical mainland. Hainanese people routinely refer to Hainan as mainland China, and consider themselves mainlanders.

Others


Other use of geography-related terms are also often used where neutrality is required.
Simplified
Chinese
Traditional
Chinese
Pinyin Jyutping Description
海峡两岸 海峽兩岸 Hǎixiá liǎng'àn hoi2 haap6 loeng5 ngon6 The physical shores on both sides of the straits, may be translated as "two shores".
两岸关系 兩岸關係 liǎng'àn guānxì loeng5 ngon6 gwaan1 hai6 Reference to the Taiwan Strait (Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations refers to the relations between People's Republic of China and the Republic of China , which lie to the west and east, repectively, of the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean....

, literally "relations between the two sides/shores [of the Strait of Taiwan]")
两岸三地 兩岸三地 liǎng'àn sāndì loeng5 ngon6 saam1 dei6 An extension of this is the term "two shores, three places", with "three places" meaning mainland China (大陸/大陆), Taiwan (臺灣/台湾) and either Hong Kong (香港) or Macau (澳門/澳门).
两岸四地 兩岸四地 liǎng'àn sìdì loeng5 ngon6 sei3 dei6 When referring to either Hong Kong or Macau, or "two shores, four places" when referring to both Hong Kong (香港) and Macau (澳門/澳门)

See also

  • Mainland
    Mainland
    Mainland is a name given to a large landmass in a region , or to the largest of a group of islands in an archipelago. Sometimes its residents are called "Mainlanders"...

  • Mainlander
  • Greater China
    Greater China
    Greater China is a term used to refer to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. As a "phrase of the moment", the precise meaning is not entirely clear, and people may use it for only the commercial ties, only the cultural actions, or even as a euphemism for the Two Chinas, while others may...

  • Sinosphere
    Sinosphere
    In areal linguistics, Sinosphere refers to a grouping of countries and regions that are currently inhabited with a majority of Chinese population or were historically under Chinese cultural influence...

  • Free China
    Free China (Second Sino-Japanese War)
    The term Free China, in the context of the Second Sino-Japanese War, refers to those areas of China not under the control of the Imperial Japanese Army or any of its puppet governments, such as Manchukuo, the Mengjiang government in Suiyuan and Chahar, or the Provisional Government of the Republic...

  • Free Area of the Republic of China
    Free Area of the Republic of China
    The Free area of the Republic of China is a legal and political description referring to the territories under the control of the government of Republic of China , consisting of the island groups of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and some minor islands...

  • Maritime China
    Maritime China
    Maritime China can refer to:*Republic of China, commonly called Taiwan*List of islands of the Republic of China*List of islands of the People's Republic of China...


External links

  • Economic profile for mainland China at HKTDC
    Hong Kong Trade Development Council
    The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based manufacturers, traders and service providers. Established in 1966, it has more than 40 offices around the world, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, promoting Hong Kong as a platform for doing business...