Mainland China

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Mainland China, Continental China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC). This term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.[1]

There are two terms in Chinese for "mainland". Namely, Dalu (simplified Chinese: 大陆; traditional Chinese: 大陸), which means continent, and Neidi (Chinese: 内地), literally 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".

In Taiwan, the term "mainland" is often used to refer to mainland China (Hong Kong and Macau excluded), especially by the Kuomintang (KMT, "Chinese Nationalist Party") and its supporters, who share the view that China encompasses both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Since the KMT was the long-time ruling party in Taiwan, the term is in mainstream use in Taiwan and often has no political implications. Government organizations and official and legal documents in Taiwan also use "mainland" to refer to mainland China. In contrast, supporters of Taiwan independence will refer to the mainland China as "China", intending Taiwan to represent a separate country and avoid the term mainland because they believe the term implies that Taiwan is part of China.



By 1949, the Communist Party of China's People's Liberation Army had largely defeated the Kuomintang's National Revolutionary Army in the fight on the Chinese 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 assigned to Chinese administration 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[2], 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".

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