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The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billio ...

People's Republic of China
(PRC). It excludes several
dependent territories A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence upright=1.0, Pedro I of Brazil, Pedro surrounded by a crowd in São Paulo after breaking the news of Independence of Brazi ...
or
disputed territories
disputed territories
that are claimed by the PRC and fall outside of the "mainland" and may or may not be governed by the PRC. The term is primarily
geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
in nature rather than
geographic Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The first person t ...

geographic
. By convention, the territories claimed by the PRC that fall outside of the Chinese mainland include: *
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
, a quasi-dependent territory under Chinese rule that is officially designated a " Special Administrative Region of the PRC" (formerly a
British colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administ ...
) *
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
, a quasi-dependent territory under Chinese rule that is officially designated a "Special Administrative Region of the PRC" (formerly a
Portuguese colony The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'') or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (''Império Colonial Português''), was composed of the overseas colonies and territories gover ...
) * The
Free area of the Republic of China The free area of the Republic of China, also known as the "Taiwan Area of the Republic of China", "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu", "Tai-Min Area (Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia ...

Free area of the Republic of China
or "Taiwan Area", a term used by the
Government of the Republic of China The Government of the Republic of China, also known retroactively as the Government of Nationalist China, is the unitary government that exercises control over Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in ...
consisting of the territories under its actual control ** Taiwan Province (ROC) is defined as covering the island of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...
(formerly Formosa) and
Penghu The Penghu (Hokkien Pe̍h-ōe-jī, POJ: ''Phîⁿ-ô͘''  or ''Phêⁿ-ô͘'' ) or Pescadores Islands are an archipelago of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait. The largest city is Magong, located on the largest island, which i ...

Penghu
(Pescadores), an archipelago in the
Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between ...

Taiwan Strait
(previously a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945) and is claimed by the PRC as " Taiwan Province (PRC)" ** The island of Taiwan is also partially covered by the defined scopes of the six
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, ...
of
Taipei Taipei (), officially Taipei City, is the Capital city, capital and a Special municipality (Taiwan), special municipality of the Taiwan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Located in Regions of Taiwan, Northern Taiwan, Taipei City is an enclave of t ...

Taipei
(
seat of government The seat of government is (as defined by ''Brewer's Politics'') "the building, complex of buildings or the city from which a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state ...
),
New Taipei New Taipei City is a special municipality and the most populous city in Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the ...
,
Kaohsiung Kaohsiung City (; : ; : ''Kao¹-hsiung²'') is a in southern . It ranges from the coastal urban centre to the rural with an area of . Kaohsiung city has a population of approximately 2.77 million people and is Taiwan's third most popu ...

Kaohsiung
,
Taichung Taichung (, Wade–Giles: ''Tʻai²-chung¹''), officially Taichung City, is a special municipality (Taiwan), special municipality located in central Taiwan. Taichung has a population of approximately 2.82 million people and is Taiwan's second ...

Taichung
,
Tainan Tainan, officially Tainan City, is a special municipality in southern Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the ...

Tainan
and Taoyuan ** Fujian Province (ROC), a disputed
administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular ...

administrative division
that is claimed by the PRC as part of its own
Fujian Province (PRC)
Fujian Province (PRC)
, is defined as covering the constituent territories of
Kinmen Kinmen, English exonyms#Taiwan, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands governed as a County (Taiwan), county by the Republic of China (ROC) based in Taiwan, off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It lies roughly east of the ...

Kinmen
, Matsu, and Wuqiu (Kinmen) To emphasise the One-China principle and not give the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...

Republic of China
(ROC) "equal footing" in
Cross-Strait relations Cross-Strait relations (sometimes called Mainland–Taiwan relations or Taiwan–China relations) refers to the relationship between the following two political entities A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...
, the term must be used in PRC's official contexts with reference to
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
(with the PRC referring to itself as the "mainland side" dealing with the "Taiwan side"). But in terms of Hong Kong and Macau, the PRC government refers to itself as "the Central People's Government".


Background

In the 1930s, the region faced
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
invasion. By 1949, the
Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People's Congress, 13th) , seats1 = , seats2_title = Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, NPC Standing ...
's (CCP)
People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between St ...
had largely defeated the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
(KMT)'s
National Revolutionary Army The National Revolutionary Army (NRA; ), sometimes shortened to Revolutionary Army () before 1928, and as National Army () after 1928, was the military arm of the Kuomintang (KMT, or the Chinese Nationalist Party) from 1925 until 1947 in the Re ...
in the Chinese Civil War on the mainland. This forced the Kuomintang to relocate the Government and institutions of the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...
to the relative safety of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...
, an island which was placed under the control of the Republic of China after the
surrender of Japan The surrender of Imperial Japan was Jewel Voice Broadcast, announced by Japanese Emperor Hirohito on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, End of World War II in Asia, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the ...
at the end of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
in 1945. With the establishment of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, the CCP-controlled government saw itself as the sole legitimate government of China, competing with the claims of the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...

Republic of China
, whose authority is now limited to
Taiwan and other islands
Taiwan and other islands
. This resulted in a situation in which
two co-existing governments
two co-existing governments
competed 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 CCP, 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
Chiang
Bandits" (). Later, as a military solution became less feasible, the ROC referred to the PRC as "Communist China"" (). With the democratisation of Taiwan in the 1990s, the phrase "mainland China" soon grew to mean not only the area under the control of the CCP, 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 Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
. Since the return of Hong Kong and Macau to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 and 1999, 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" is a constitutional principle of the People's Republic of China describing the governance of Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China ...
" policy adopted by the PRC central government towards the
regions In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wor ...
.LegCo.
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.


Political use


People's Republic of China

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'. * ''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 emphasise the One-China principle and not give the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...

Republic of China
(ROC) "equal footing" in
Cross-Strait relations Cross-Strait relations (sometimes called Mainland–Taiwan relations or Taiwan–China relations) refers to the relationship between the following two political entities A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...
, the term must be used in PRC's official contexts with reference to
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
(with the PRC referring to itself as the "mainland side" dealing with the "Taiwan side"). But in terms of Hong Kong and Macau, the PRC government refers to itself as "the Central People's Government". 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" ().
Hainan Hainan (, ; ) is the smallest and southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Hainan
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 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". Historically, Fujian Province (ROC) was jointly governed alongside Fujian Province (PRC) as a unified Fujian Province under successive Chinese governments. The two territories are generally considered to belong to the same historical region, Fujian Province, which has been divided since 1949 as a result of the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
. As such, Fujian Province (ROC) is considered to have historically been a part of mainland China, although it is not ruled by the PRC.


Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
and
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a and of the in the western by the . With a population of about 680,000 and an area of , it is the most in the ...

Macau
are both sovereign territories of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billio ...

People's Republic of China
. However, due to the
One Country, Two Systems "One country, two systems" is a constitutional principle of the People's Republic of China describing the governance of Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China ...
policy, the two regions maintain a high degree of autonomy, hence 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 The New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a and of China on the eastern in . With over ...
). Additionally, the islands contained within Hong Kong (e.g.
Hong Kong Island 250px, Kornhill and Shau Kei Wan, located in the northern part of Eastern District Hong Kong Island is an Islands and peninsulas of Hong Kong, island in the southern part of Hong Kong. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population de ...

Hong Kong Island
) and Macau are much closer to mainland China than Taiwan and Hainan, and are much smaller. In Hong Kong and Macau, 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 The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, or Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) for short, is an economic agreement between the Government A government is the system or group of people governing an or ...
(as well as the
Mainland and Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement The Mainland and Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, or Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) for short, is an economic agreement between the Government A government is the system or group of people governing an organ ...
) 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 Taiwan (the Republic of China), "mainland area" is a legal term used in the 1991
Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China The Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China are the revisions and constitutional amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of China, original constitution to meet the requisites of the nation and the political stat ...
, though the constitution does not define the geographical boundaries of the mainland area. In the corresponding Cross-Strait Act, the "people of the mainland area" are defined to be those under the jurisdiction of the PRC, excluding Hong Kong and Macau. By contrast, Taiwan and its offshore islands are defined as part of the "
free area of the Republic of China The free area of the Republic of China, also known as the "Taiwan Area of the Republic of China", "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu", "Tai-Min Area (Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia ...

free area of the Republic of China
".Additional Articles to the Republic of China Constitution
6th Revision, 2000
Views of the term "mainland China" (中國大陸) vary on Taiwan. When the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
(KMT) lost the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan, they referred to the territories under the control of the
Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People's Congress, 13th) , seats1 = , seats2_title = Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, NPC Standing ...
(CCP) by several different names, e.g. "(territory controlled by the) Communist bandits", "occupied/unfree area (of China)" (as opposed to the "
free area of the Republic of China The free area of the Republic of China, also known as the "Taiwan Area of the Republic of China", "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu", "Tai-Min Area (Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia ...

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, many of these terms have fallen out of use. The 1991 Additional Articles to the Constitution stipulated that the relationship between the "free area" and the "mainland area" of the ROC be defined by law. This relationship is defined by the Cross-Strait Act. Thus the terms "mainland China" (中國大陸) or "the mainland" (大陸) still remain in use. However, some also simply use the term "China" (中國). This term is preferred by the
Pan-Green Coalition The pan-Green coalition, pan-Green force or pan-Green groups is a localist political coalition in Taiwan (Republic of China), consisting of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP), Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), T ...
led by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which opposes the term "mainland" and its suggestion that Taiwan is part of China.DPP is firm on China name issue
Taipei Times (2013-07-14). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.


Other terms

Other use of geography-related terms are also often used where neutrality is required.


See also

*
Mainland Mainland is defined as "relating to or forming the main part of a country or continent, not including the islands around it egardless of status under territorial jurisdiction by an entity" The term is often human geography, politically, econo ...
* Mainlander *
Greater China "Greater China" is an informal geographical area that shares commercial and cultural ties with the Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal di ...

Greater China
*
Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China The Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China are the revisions and constitutional amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of China, original constitution to meet the requisites of the nation and the political stat ...
*
China proper China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym a ...

China proper
*
Constitution of the People's Republic of China The Constitution of the People's Republic of China is nominally the constitution, supreme law of the People's Republic of China. It was adopted by the 5th National People's Congress on December 4, 1982, with Constitution of the People's Repu ...
*
Free area of the Republic of China The free area of the Republic of China, also known as the "Taiwan Area of the Republic of China", "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu", "Tai-Min Area (Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia ...

Free area of the Republic of China
* Free China *
Politics of the People's Republic of China The People's Republic of China is a socialist republic Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (s ...


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* http://www.imd.ch/research/publications/wcy/World-Competitiveness-Yearbook-2008-Results.cfm *


External links


Relations with Hong Kong and Macau

Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area


at HKTDC {{Taiwan topics Territorial disputes of China Territorial disputes of the Republic of China
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...
Geography of China Geopolitical terminology Politics of Taiwan Politics of China Taiwan Strait