mainland China

Mainland China, Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geographical and political term to describe the geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It generally excludes the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. The term “mainland China”, which avoids calling the area simply “China” and thereby recognizing the founding of the PRC as the “China”, was coined by the Kuomintang (KMT) after it took control of Taiwan, particularly after 1949, when the KMT-led Republic of China (ROC) government was defeated in the Chinese Civil War on the mainland and fled to Taiwan, and pledged to “retake the Mainland”. The KMT considers both sides of the Taiwan Strait, i.e. including Taiwan, as (one) “China” and one country; whereas Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) considers only mainland China as “China” and Taiwan (ROC) as “Taiwan” and that they are different countries. There are two terms in Chinese for “mainland”. Namely, Dalu (), which means “continent”, and Neidi ( / ), literally “inland” or “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, 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”. “Mainland” area is the opposing term to “Free area of the Republic of China” used in the ROC Constitution, as amended in April, 2000, which treats the “mainland” as part of ROC’s territory despite lack of control.