The Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People's Republic of China (Chinese
) defines two terms in Chinese that are translated to "mainland":
- Dàlù (大陆; 大陸), which means 'the continent'. It includes Hong Kong and Macau.
- Nèidì (内地; 內地), 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 terms of Hong Kong and Macau, the PRC government refers to itself as "the Central People's Government".
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" (共匪) while the PRC referred to the ROC as "Chiang
Bandits" (蒋匪; 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 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
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 内地 ('inland') is often contrasted with the term 境外 ('outside the border') for things outside the mainland region. Examples include "Administration of Foreign-funded Banks" (中华人民共和国外资银行管理条例
) or the "Measures on Administration of Representative Offices of Foreign Insurance Institutions" (外国保险机构驻华代表机构管理办法
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
.[original research?][improper synthesis?]
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".[better source needed]
In some coastal provinces such as Guangdong
, people often call the area of non-coastal provinces of mainland China as "Inland" (内地).
Hong Kong and Macau
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.
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 bandits
", "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 [the 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)
[the DPP and other aligned parties usually support Taiwanese independence
to a certain degree], tend to be opposed to suggestions that Taiwan is part of China,
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.
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- ^ "China mainland". Privacy - Government Information Requests. Apple Legal. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
- ^ "《中华人民共和国出境入境管理法》（中英文）Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People's Republic of China".
- ^ "Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao Emergency Service Information". Mainland Affairs Council (Taiwan).
- ^ Additional Articles to the Republic of China Constitution, 6th Revision, 2000
- ^ "...imperial Japan launched its invasion of the Chinese mainland in the 1930s" The Two Koreas and the Great Powers, Cambridge University Press, 2006, page 43.
- ^ Jeshurun, Chandran, ed. (1993). China, India, Japan and the Security of Southeast Asia. Singapore: ISEAS. p. 146. ISBN 9813016612.
- ^ So, Alvin Y.; Lin, Nan; Poston, Dudley L., eds. (2001). The Chinese Triangle of mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong : comparative institutional analyses. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313308697.
- ^ a b LegCo. "Legislative council HK." Mainland Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Bill. Retrieved on 2008-03-10.
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- ^ Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. "Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China." Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-03-10.
- ^ Chinese version Archived 2009-11-27 at the Wayback Machine, English version Archived 2009-02-04 at the Wayback Machine, Statistics on Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (輸入內地人才計劃數據資料), Immigration Department (Hong Kong).
- ^ English Text Chinese text Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ a b Wachman, Alan (1994). Taiwan: National Identity and Democratization. M.E. Sharpe. p. 81.
- ^ DPP is firm on China name issue. Taipei Times (2013-07-14). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
Last edited on 18 June 2021, at 19:54
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