Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitical
area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China
October 1, 1949
. It includes Hainan
, which is an island province in the South China Sea
, but it excludes the special administrative regions
of Hong Kong
, even though both are mostly on the geographic continental landmass (the "mainland").
The Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People's Republic of China () defines two terms in Chinese that are translated to "mainland":
* ''Dàlù'' (), which means 'the continent'. It includes Hong Kong and Macau.
* ''Nèidì'' (), literally 'inland' or 'inner land'. It excludes Hong Kong and Macau.
In the People's Republic of China, the usage of the two terms is strictly speaking not interchangeable. To emphasize the One-China policy
and not give the Republic of China
(ROC) "equal footing" in Cross-Strait relations
, the term must be used in PRC's official contexts with reference to Taiwan
(with the PRC referring to itself as the "mainland side" dealing with the "Taiwan side"). But in PRC's relations with Hong Kong and Macau, the PRC government refers to itself as "the Central People's Government".
The term "mainland area" is the complementary term to "free area of the Republic of China
" used in the ROC Constitution
by the Government of the Republic of China
[Additional Articles to the Republic of China Constitution](_blank)
6th Revision, 2000
In the 1930s, the region faced Japanese
invasion. By 1949, the Chinese Communist Party
's (CCP) People's Liberation Army
had largely defeated the Kuomintang
(KMT)'s National Revolutionary Army
in the Chinese Civil War on the mainland
. This forced the Kuomintang to relocate the Government and institutions
of the Republic of China
to the relative safety of Taiwan
, an island which was placed under the control of the Republic of China after the surrender of Japan
at the end of World War II
in 1945. With the establishment of the People's Republic of China 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
, whose authority is now limited to Taiwan and other islands
. This resulted in a situation in which two co-existing governments
compete for international legitimacy and recognition
as the "government of China".
The phrase "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" () while the PRC referred to the ROC as "Chiang
Bandits" (). Later, as a military solution became less feasible, the ROC referred to the PRC as "Communist China"" (). With the democratization of Taiwan in the 1990s, the phrase "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 phrase "mainland China" excludes Hong Kong
. Since the return of Hong Kong and Macau to Chinese sovereignty in 1997
, 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
" policy adopted by the PRC central government
towards the regions
Legislative council HK
" ''Mainland Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Bill.'' Retrieved on 2008-03-10.
The term is also used in economic indicators, such as the IMD
Competitiveness Report. International news media often use "China" to refer only to mainland China or the People's Republic of China.
People's Republic of China
In the People's Republic of China, the term ('inland') is often contrasted with the term ('outside the border') for things outside the mainland region. Examples include "Administration of Foreign-funded Banks" () or the "Measures on Administration of Representative Offices of Foreign Insurance Institutions" ().
is an offshore island, therefore geographically not part of the continental mainland, and was in fact controlled by ROC forces for almost a full year after the founding of the PRC until the 1950 Battle of Hainan Island
. 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 the People's Republic within the geographical mainland. Nonetheless, Hainanese people still refer to the geographic mainland as "the mainland" and call its residents "mainlanders". In some coastal provinces such as Guangdong
, people often call the area of non-coastal provinces in of mainland China as "Inland" ().
Hong Kong and Macau
are both sovereign territories of the People's Republic of China
. However, due to the One Country Two Systems
policy, the two regions maintain a high degree of autonomy, hence why they are considered not to be part of mainland China.
Geologically speaking, Hong Kong and Macau are both connected to mainland China in certain areas (e.g. the north of the New Territories
). Additionally, the islands contained within Hong Kong (e.g. Hong Kong Island
) and Macau are much closer to mainland China than Taiwan and Hainan
, and are much smaller.
In Hong Kong
, the terms "mainland China" and "mainlander" are frequently used for people from PRC-governed areas (i.e. not Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau). The Chinese term ''Neidi'' (), meaning the ''inland'' but still translated ''mainland'' in English, is commonly applied by SAR
governments to represent non-SAR areas of PRC, including Hainan
province and coastal regions of mainland China, such as "Constitutional and Mainland Affairs" () and Immigration Departments. In the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
(as well as the Mainland and Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
) the CPG also uses the Chinese characters "inner land", with the note that they refer to the "customs territory of China".
[English TextChinese text]
Republic of China (Taiwan)
In the Republic of China, there are differing opinions as to the neutrality of the term "mainland China". However, the term is considered somewhat more neutral than historical terms used to describe the territories under the control of the People's Republic of China (PRC)
(which is in turn led by the Communist Party of China (CPC)
Since 1949, the Republic of China on Taiwan
(led by the Kuomintang/Nationalists (KMT/GMD)
) has referred to the territories under the control of the Chinese Communist Party with several different names, e.g. "(territory controlled by the) Communist bandit
s", "occupied/unfree area (of China)" (as opposed to the "free area of the Republic of China
"), "Communist China" (as opposed to either "Nationalist China" or "Democratic China"), "Red China" (as opposed to "Blue China"), and "mainland China (area)". In modern times, the term "Communist bandits" is generally considered both inflammatory and offensive by supporters of the Kuomintang and other Pan-Blue
political parties .html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="he KMT and other aligned parties believe that "China" encompasses both sides of the Taiwan Strait
">he KMT and other aligned parties believe that "China" encompasses both sides of the Taiwan Strait
so it is no longer used by them. Similarly, terms implying illegal occupation (of the mainland) or an intent to reclaim the mainland tend not to be used by both Pan-Blue and Pan-Green individuals. Therefore, only the terms "Communist China" or "mainland China" are still commonly used by Taiwanese (Chinese) people aligned with Pan-Blue ideologies. Somewhat synonymous to the term "Communist China" is the term "People's Republic of China (PRC)" (which is either considered to encompass Hong Kong
or isn't, due to the confusion and ambiguity of One Country Two Systems
). Meanwhile, the term "mainland China" is often simply abbreviated to "the mainland" among speakers of Chinese in Taiwan or from Taiwan.
However, the Pan-Green Coalition
in Taiwan, led by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taiwanese_independence
_to_a_certain_degree.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Taiwanese independence movement">Taiwanese independence to a certain degree">Taiwanese independence movement">Taiwanese independence to a certain degree tend to be opposed to suggestions that Taiwan is part of China,
DPP is firm on China name issue
Taipei Times (2013-07-14). Retrieved on 2013-07-21. regardless of the subtlety of said suggestions. Referring to the territories under the control of the Chinese Communist Party as "mainland China" suggests that Taiwan is part of China. That is, the term "mainland China" suggests that Taiwan is a "satellite island" of China, and that Taiwan is tethered to China (much in the same way that one might say that "Kinmen is tethered to Taiwan"). Therefore, Pan-Green individuals tend to prefer the term "China", rather than "mainland China", since the term "China" suggests that Taiwan and China are two separate countries. Pan-Green Taiwanese might also prefer to refer to China as "Communist China" or "the People's Republic of China (PRC)" or "Red China". However, these terms suggest that there exist "two Chinas". Certain Pan-Green Taiwanese believe that there exist "two Chinas" and that the Republic of China (ROC) and Taiwan are one and the same, so they would be more inclined to use these terms (compared to those who believe that the ROC is illegally occupying Taiwan). Individuals in Taiwan who are aligned with Pan-Green ideologies might be more inclined to refer to the People's Republic of China as "the Communist bandits" or "occupied/unfree area" (compared to those aligned with Pan-Blue ideologies), due to their negative (or indifferent) views towards mainland China and the Chinese Communist Party, though they generally don't have any intention of "reclaiming the mainland".
Other use of geography-related terms are also often used where neutrality is required.
* Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China
* Constitution of the Republic of China
* History of the Republic of China
* China proper
* Free area of the Republic of China
* Free China
* Greater China
* Captive Nations
* Politics of the People's Republic of China
* Constitution of the People's Republic of China
Relations with Hong Kong and Macau
Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area
at Hong Kong Trade Development Council|HKTDC
Category:Territorial disputes of China
Category:Territorial disputes of the Republic of China
Category:Geography of China
Category:Politics of the Republic of China
Category:Politics of China