|Literal meaning||Continental China|
|Alternative Chinese name|
|Simplified Chinese||中国 内 地|
|Traditional Chinese||中國 內 地|
|Literal meaning||Inland China|
Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, is the geopolitical and geographical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It includes Hainan, which is an island, and excludes the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, even though both are partially on the geographic mainland (continental landmass).
There are two terms in Chinese for "mainland":
In the PRC, the usage of the two terms is strictly speaking not interchangeable. To emphasize "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 " mainland side" in relation to "Taiwan side"). But in PRC's relations with Hong Kong and Macau, the PRC government refers to itself as "the Central People's Government".
"Mainland area" is the complementary term to "free area of the Republic of China" used in the ROC Constitution.
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 has 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" (共匪) while the PRC referred to the ROC as "Chiang 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 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 and 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" 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.
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).
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". [ better source needed ] In some coastal provinces such as Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangsu, people often call the area of non-coastal provinces in of mainland China as "Inland" (内地).
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 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 (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 province 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 (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 Taiwan, 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 and Macau 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.
|海峡两岸||海峽兩岸||Hǎixiá liǎng'àn||Hoi2 haap6 loeng5 ngon6||Hái-kiap lióng-gān||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||lióng-gān koan-hē||Reference to the Taiwan Strait (cross-Strait relations, 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||lióng-gān sam-tè||An extension of this is the phrase "two shores, three places", with "three places" meaning mainland China, Taiwan, and either Hong Kong or Macau.|
|两岸四地||兩岸四地||liǎng'àn sìdì||loeng5 ngon6 sei3 dei6||lióng-gān sù-tè||When referring to either Hong Kong or Macau, or "two shores, four places" when referring to both Hong Kong and Macau.|
The politics of the Republic of China take place in a framework of a representative democratic republic, whereby the President is head of state and the Premier is head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in primarily with the parliament and limited by government. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The party system is dominated by the Kuomintang, which favors closer links to mainland China, and the Democratic Progressive Party, which favors Taiwanese independence.
The Taiwan independence movement is a political movement to seek formal international recognition of Taiwan as an independent, sovereign nation and in opposition to Chinese unification.
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China (ROC) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) lasting intermittently between 1927 and 1949. The war is generally divided into two phases with an interlude: from August 1927 to 1937, the KMT-CPC Alliance collapsed during the Northern Expedition, and the Nationalists controlled most of China. From 1937 to 1945, hostilities were put on hold, and the Second United Front fought the Japanese invasion of China with eventual help from the Allies of World War II. The civil war resumed with the Japanese defeat, and the CPC gained the upper hand in the final phase of the war from 1945–1949, generally referred to as the Chinese Communist Revolution.
Chinese unification, also known as the Cross-Strait unification or reunification, is the potential unification of territory currently controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China under one political entity, possibly the formation of a political union between the two republics. Together with full Taiwanese independence, unification is one of the main proposals to address questions on the political status of Taiwan, which is a central focus of Cross-Strait relations.
The controversy regarding the political status of Taiwan, sometimes referred to as the Taiwan Issue or Taiwan Strait Issue, or from a Taiwanese perspective as the Mainland Issue, is a result of the Chinese Civil War and the subsequent split of China into the two present-day self-governing entities of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China.
The "One-China policy" is a policy asserting that there is only one sovereign state under the name China, as opposed to the idea that there are two states, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), whose official names incorporate "China". Many states follow a one China policy, but the meanings are not the same. The PRC exclusively uses the term "One China Principle" in its official communications.
The flag of the Republic of China consists of a red field with a blue canton bearing a white disc with twelve triangles surrounding it. The disc and triangles symbolize the sun and rays of light emanating from it respectively.
"Chinese Taipei" is the name used in some international organizations and competitions for Taiwan. This name was first proposed in the Nagoya Resolution whereby the ROC/Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC) recognize each other when it comes to the activities of the International Olympic Committee and its correlates. The ROC participates under this name in various international organizations and events, including the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the Metre Convention, and international pageants.
The History of the Republic of China begins after the Qing dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China as a constitutional republic put an end to 2,000 years of imperial rule. The Manchu-led Qing dynasty ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. The Republic experienced many trials and tribulations after its founding which included being dominated by elements as disparate as warlord generals and foreign powers.
As a result of the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II, the island of Taiwan was placed under the governance of the Republic of China (ROC), ruled by the Kuomintang (KMT), on 25 October 1945. Following the February 28 massacre in 1947, martial law was declared in 1949 by the Governor of Taiwan Province, Chen Cheng, and the ROC Ministry of National Defense. Following the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the ROC government retreated from the mainland as the Communists proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The KMT retreated to Taiwan and declared Taipei the temporary capital of the ROC. For many years, the ROC and PRC each continued to claim in the diplomatic arena to be the sole legitimate government of "China". In 1971, the United Nations expelled the ROC and replaced it with the PRC.
The Anti-Secession Law is a law of the People's Republic of China (PRC), passed by the 3rd Session of the 10th National People's Congress. It was ratified on March 14, 2005, and went into effect immediately. President Hu Jintao promulgated the law with Presidential Decree No. 34. Although the law, at ten articles, is relatively short, it was met with much controversy because it formalized the long-standing policy of the PRC to use "non-peaceful means" against the "Taiwan independence movement" in the event of a declaration of independence.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) is a Taiwanese cabinet-level administrative agency under the Executive Yuan. The MAC is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of policies between the Republic of China on Taiwan and the People's Republic of China which administers mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The MAC's counterpart body in the PRC is the Taiwan Affairs Office. Both states officially claim each other's territory, however the Republic of China controls only Taiwan and surrounding islands, and therefore is usually known as "Taiwan", sometimes referred to as the "Free Area" of the Republic of China by the Constitution of the Republic of China. The People's Republic of China controls mainland China as well as Hong Kong, Macau, Hainan, and other islands and is therefore usually known simply as "China".
The "1992 Consensus", also known as the "Consensus of 1992" or the "One China" Consensus, is a political term coined by Kuomintang (KMT) politician Su Chi, referring to the outcome of a meeting in 1992 between the semiofficial representatives of the People's Republic of China (PRC) of mainland China and the Republic of China (ROC) of Taiwan.
The 2005 Pan–Blue visits to mainland China were a series of groundbreaking visits by delegations of the Kuomintang (KMT) and their allied Pan-Blue Coalition to mainland China. They were hailed as the highest level of exchange between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang since Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong met in Chongqing, China on August 28, 1945.
Cross-Strait relations refer to the relationship between the following two political entities, which are separated by the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean:
Taiwanese nationalism is an ideology that promotes the interests of residents of the Taiwan Area. Due to the political status of Taiwan, it is rooted in and overlaps with Taiwanese localism, the promotion and emphasis of Taiwanese culture, society, and identity within the Republic of China. This involves the education of history, geography, and culture from a Taiwan-centric perspective, promoting native languages of Taiwan such as Taiwanese Hokkien, Hakka, and indigenous languages, as well as reforms in other aspects.
The free area of the Republic of China is a term used by the government of the Republic of China (ROC) to refer to the territories under its actual control. The area under the definition consists of the island groups of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and some minor islands. This term is used in the "Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China". As the island of Taiwan is the main component of the whole area, it is also referred to as the "Taiwan Area of the Republic of China" or simply the "Taiwan Area". The term "Tai-Peng-Kin-Ma" is also essentially equivalent except that it only refers to the islands of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu Area, to the exclusion of the South China Sea possessions－Dongsha Islands and Taiping Island.
The term Two Chinas refers to the current geopolitical situation of two political entities each calling itself "China":
Mainland Chinese or Mainlanders are Chinese people who live in the continental ("mainland") region of East Asia. The term "mainland China" is contemporarily used to refer to regions directly administered by the People's Republic of China, as opposed to special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, the island of Taiwan, and other ethnic Chinese-majority areas of the Chinese diaspora. The term is also often used by the Hokkien-speaking Taiwanese people to distinguish themselves from residents who were born in mainland China, if not directly calling the Mainlanders and themselves as "Chinese" and "Taiwanese" respectively.
The Pro-Taiwan camp or pro-Kuomintang camp is a political alignment in Hong Kong. It generally pledges allegiance to the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan, which has traditionally been governed by the Kuomintang.