"Mainland"? Which Mainland?

CECC Deputy Chen Tsung-Yen replying to a journalist today.

Journalist: “[…] What about those who took their vaccine on the Mainland? […]”
CTY: “You are referring to the citizens who are coming back from China, right? Because if you say Mainland I really have no idea which country you are talking about”.

Oooops :rofl: :rofl:

媒體提問在「大陸」接種疫苗 陳宗彥霸氣回:大陸是哪個國家? - 生活 - 自由時報電子報 (ltn.com.tw)


If you ask me, this is what mainland means.


To me making a political statement during a press conference about coronavirus is not right. He knew what reporter was talking about. Under other circumstances directly related to China OK

That makes every single press release every government has ever done a political statement.

According to this logic.

I wonder if this is my suggestion in action. I pushed the MP to talk to other party members this way.



It’s actually quite important the term 大陸 gets dropped here. It infers we are part of their sphere of influence.


I don’t feel this is the right way to go. If you have the balls to confront the CCP, change the constitution, get rid of everything ROC and push for independence from China. If you want to be fully and officially recognized as an independent nation, you have to go and fight for it. But you better make sure the overwhelming majority of people living in Taiwan are supporting this way.

This incremental approach of semantic changes leads to nowhere and for me feels a bit silly.


Since 1949m the KMT officials deliberately and misleadingly translated mainland as 大陸, which actually means the continent in Chinese. That’s why many people would rhetorically ask “which 大陸?” since there are at least 5 or 7 continents, none of which is a country. Mainland should have been translated to 本土 instead.

The reason why I say the KMT did it on purpose is that when “mainland” is used in the American context, like Hawai’i and the US mainland, the translation would always be 美國本土, you would never see the term 美國大陸. You would only see 美洲大陸 in Taiwan,which refers to the Americas as continents.

The Japanese used the kanji 內地 (interior) when during the Japanese era when referring to the Japanese home islands. Right now China is insisting that Taiwanese and Taiwanese celebrities use that term to refer to China as well. Many Taiwanese people would usually rhetorically ask “interior? you mean Nantou county?”


Ever noticed how blue-leaning news channels say mainland and green-leaning ones say China? Yes, it’s political, but it can get a bit silly sometimes like when instead of saying a continental cold front, meteorologists on green channels say a “Chinese cold front,” as if the cold front has a nationality.


All bad weather comes from China.

Except typhoons.

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Well no… that’s just the nature of Chinese itself.
In English it might be interpreted as a cold front from China, much like how (in Canada) a warm front may come from the US.

Yeah, to say “come from” is fine, but when people use it as an adjective as in 中國冷氣團 instead of 大陸冷氣團 it’s just unnecessary PC.

Ever hear of a Continental breakfast? “Fog in Channel, Continent cut off”= without anybody asking if they mean Antarctica. Residents of Vancouver Island often refer to the rest of B.C. as “the mainland”; “the Lower Mainland” is a common expression to refer to greater Vancouver.
Islanders often refer to their neighbors as " the manland" without political implications

Of course it’s political. The implication is that it’s the same country and/or province.


I can’t remember the last typhoon that made landfall. For the past 2 years, most typhoon that came close immediately alters course and ram straight into China. I think it should be renamed to Chiphoon.

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That one is perfectly fine, since in English we don’t have to ask which channel, and that immediately places the continent. Continental breakfast actually also refers to Europe.

The closest thing in English is probably using America to refer to the US.

Reminds me of the last time I visited Orchid Island. People there kept asking me when I was “going back to Taiwan” as if it was a different place entirely. :slight_smile:


What about the people in Hawai’i asking someone if they are going back stateside?

As far as I understand, “mainland” is indeed deeply political in mandarin. Officially (as in ROC constitution additions etc.) it seems to be the term for those areas of the ROC that are currently ^^ controlled by the communist rebels.

Opposed to this is the term “free area of the ROC”, eg. Taiwan and some parts of Fujien.

So I get it when blue/KMT/ROC leaning sources use “mainland” in the traditional way.

And I also understand when taiwanization / independence proponents dislike and ridicule this word, and rather use terms that refer to the current political situation - instead of what they probably see as an old and unrealistic KMT dream.

The problem people need to realize is that china is using exactly tge approach to help solidify the worlds “education” that taiwan is chinese. Incremental semantic changes are absolutely part of this cold war, and ha e been for decades. Taiwan should wake up and start doing it more often. Jus flat out not understand what people are talking about when it comes to taiwan belonging to another country.

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It is adifferent place, literally. There is a funny and common saying there and around town. Taiwan comprises 3 countries. The Mainland, Taipei and Orchid island. Its more a joke on culture rather than borders. I forget the exact wording used in Mandarin.