"Mainland"? Which Mainland?

You’re right. Fixed.

There’s a political and a religious angle to it. It’s often perceived by either-side that “Hindi” is for Indians/Hindus, while “Urdu” is for Pakistanis/Muslims. I personally don’t mind but I bet a majority wouldn’t be pleased for these two words to be used interchangeably. Even though both languages are virtually similar (at least in spoken).

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“Free area” is an obsolete term for ROC, as opposed to what used to be called “bandit-controlled areas” i.e. PRC.

My grown sons and their friends are all fierce Taiwan-independence supporters, and they often refer to ‘da lu’ and ‘Chonghua’ interchangably.


When someone says Da Lu, most of the time they are not saying that the view Taiwan and the PRC to be politically connected or that Taiwan was not sovereign.

Sometimes they are pushing an agenda

I use it to be neutral, too.
I wonder what is the word these days that can be used without invoking politics into the conversation. :ponder:

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You can do so by calling things as it is. That country is called China, and it is China regardless of whether you are pro-independence or pro-unification. Calling it anything else is being political and being delusional.


Not really, I can’t.

My company has offices in both Taiwan and China.
Saying “I will send the samples to China next week” during a conference call may turn things unnecessary political


That’s interesting, and comforting. I don’t feel so bad now for occasionally saying mainland.

I favor Taiwan independence,* and I’ve tried to avoid using the term mainland or dalu, but sometimes, it slips out. I don’t consider Taiwan to be part of China, so that can’t be the reason. I guess I say it because China’s situated on a huge landmass a few kilometers away.

*Not that what I think matters to the average Taiwanese, or to anybody, for that matter.

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It is the true intention of the Chinese Communist Party that counts. The only entity that matters is the Party. What you notionally called China, or government, or the Chinese people are merely instruments and no capacity to call shots.

About the sphere of influence, I am going to have to agree with others here that you misused the term “sphere of influence” So far Taiwan has not fallen into China’s sphere of influence, but you can argue if KMT comes into power then it can easily turn the opposite.

Future historians will all describe Russia’s great strategy of turning China into the largest, permanent anti-West state. They did so by introducing and implanting Communist Party system whose norm is to auto-pilot, self-navigate to be Russia-friendly and hostile to the Pacific. This is a great multi-generational achievement of the Russians, for Russian interests.

What you call China is more Communist than it is Chinese. When Communist interests and Chinese interests are in conflict, Communist interests take precedence. In doing so, there can never be a situation where Chinese interests hurt Russian interests, because Communism is fundamentally itself the product of anti-West system and idea.

At least it’s not you being political.

If I’m talking to a company in China and it’s for work, I will just say what they want to hear.

I do try not to say it in conversation here now though

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Now, now, you don’t want to run the risk of being called political and delusional, like the two geographers who wrote this article:

(italics added by me)

–K. Hoggart, and H. Buller, “Geographical differences in British property acquisitions in rural France,” The Geographical Journal, Vol. 161, March 1995, pp. 69-78

It’s apparent from the undeniable facts stated in this thread that the two geographers who are responsible for writing the above are communicating the delusional and highly politicized idea that Britain is part of France.

What about using city names?

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Yes, that’s what I have been doing to avoid hurting feelings!
But it’s not always possible…

For example, recently, any parcel from Taiwan to China needs to sit for 7 days after arriving to other side of the strait before proceed with the delivery. It’s not Taipei to Shanghai or Taoyuan to Guangzhou. It’s Taiwan to China.
Communicating that without avoiding the terms 中國 or 大陸 seems impossible.

It’s stuck ‘in customs’.

The issue here, as I’ve mentioned way back when this thread first started, is that mainland here would not be translated as 法國大陸, instead, it would be translated as 法國本土.

法國大陸 and 美國大陸 sounds completely idiotic in Mandarin.

Callingthe PRC 大陸 is political to begin with, and a case specifically created just to reference China.

Lots of things can be interpreted politically if one is inclined to do so.

I wish there were a polite way to express this, but under the circumstances I can’t think of one, so: while I have nothing against you personally, I don’t recognize you as a regulator or arbiter of my speech.

But if you choose to believe that my word choice makes me a crypto-Kuomintang member, or a crypto-PRC fan, why, that is your prerogative.

You can say 大陸 as long as you stay consistent and refer to other uses of mainland in Mandarin as 大陸, otherwise you will have to recgonize these are two separate words in Mandarin, and 本土 means mainland, 大陸 means continent. Therefore, whenever I hear or see people just use the word continent without making themselves clear, I’ll ask “which continent?”

If you try to cross a deep ravine that is perhaps three meters wide, you won’t succeed inching your way across. You have two main options, jump or build a bridge.

Jumping is quick, but very risky, potentially fatal.
Building a bridge takes time, might be complicated, but successful, nobody gets hurt or dies.

All these attempts by Taiwan to get international recognition and all these attempts by China to stop Taiwan from doing so are, in my view, futile attempts at inching across the divide.

To settle the issue, either go to war and live with the, mostly likely horrible, consequences or find common ground and build a bridge, which might take a few more decades of stalemate.

Saying or not saying “mainland China” is not making any difference in my view.

Discussing it feels like a waste of time.


Earlier I wrote, in pertinent part:

Your response contained the following important words:

(emphasis added by me)

In other words, despite what I wrote, you do consider yourself to be a regulator or arbiter of my speech.

Thanks for clearing that up for me. :slight_smile: