Mainland China

Mainland China, also known as the Chinese Mainland[1] or China Mainland,[2] is the geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since October 1, 1949. It includes Hainan, which is an island province in the South China Sea, but it excludes the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao, even though both are mostly on the geographic continental landmass (the "mainland"), and the claimed region of Taiwan.

Mainland China
[upper-roman 1]
The geopolitical term "Mainland China" (the highlighted area as shown above) defined as territories under direct administration of the People's Republic of China, including islands of Hainan and Zhoushan etc.
Largest cities
Official languageStandard Chinese
Ethnic groups
see Ethnic groups in China
9,596,960 km2 (3,705,410 sq mi)
 2019 census
147/km2 (380.7/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard Time)
Driving sideright
Calling code+86
ISO 3166 codeCN
Internet TLD
Today part ofPeople's Republic of China
Mainland China
Map showing Mainland China (in light blue), Tuva (in gold), and Outer Mongolia (in orange) claimed by the ROC government alongside with the Taiwan area (in dark blue) while the Kuomintang ruled the whole China.
Simplified Chinese中国大陆
Traditional Chinese中國大陸
Literal meaningContinental China
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese中国
Traditional Chinese中國
Literal meaningInland China
Mainland Area of the Republic of China
Simplified Chinese中华民国大陆地区
Traditional Chinese中華民國大陸地區

The Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中华人民共和国出境入境管理法) defines two terms in Chinese that are translated to "mainland":[3]

  • Dàlù (大陆; 大陸), which means 'the continent'.
  • Nèidì (内地; 內地), literally 'inland' or 'inner land'. It excludes Hong Kong and Macau.[4]

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").[citation needed] But in terms of Hong Kong and Macau, the PRC government refers to itself as "the Central People's Government".[citation needed]

The term "mainland area" is the complementary term to "free area of the Republic of China" used in the ROC Constitution by the Government of the Republic of China.[5]