Please let me know what does it mean by Mainland China. Is it excluding Hong-Kong and Macau? What are the cities/ towns comprising Mainland China?

  • Welcome to Travel.SE. It is a little unclear what relationship your question has to travel; there are hundreds of thousands of cities and towns involved in any definition of mainland China, and you have not demonstrated what research you have attempted on your own. Please take the site tour and review the help center, and then edit your question to include more context, and we may be better-equipped to help you. – choster Feb 29 '16 at 15:16
  • I always thought is was the China on the "continent" and excluding Hong-Kong and Macau (because they were foreign territories), and obviously Taiwan because it is (on) an island. – Max Feb 29 '16 at 15:21
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    We need a bit more context than that. It could be referring to PRC/ROC ("China"/"Taiwan"). It could be reffering to bulk of PRC vs the SARs of Hong Kong and Macau. It could literally be referring to the continental landmass of China. @Max I think being run by a different government is an important part of the Taiwan part of that. What about Hainan - an Island the same size as Taiwan, but administrativly a full part of the PRC. – CMaster Feb 29 '16 at 15:41

Usually, "Mainland China" refers to the People's Republic of China, excluding

  • Taiwan
  • the Hong Kong SAR
  • the Macau SAR

However, it may vary depending on context: it may for instance include Hong Kong and Macau while excluding Taiwan (mostly if this is in a Taiwanese context).

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    +1 Yes, and, without additional context, the term definitely includes Hainan and other islands that are controlled by the PRC government but are not geographically part of the mainland. – Spehro Pefhany Feb 29 '16 at 16:37
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    IMO the term "mainland" is a way to differentiate between Chinese from the "mainland" vs Chinese from Hong Kong, so I would say it always excludes Hong Kong. Usage: "Have you visited China? I've visited Hong Kong but not Mainland China" – EdmundYeung99 Feb 29 '16 at 22:21
  • @EdmundYeung99, as seen from Hong Kong, definitely. But as seen from Taiwan, it could designate the PRC including HK & Macau. – jcaron Feb 29 '16 at 22:38
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    @jcaron even in Taiwan, "mainland" excludes Hong Kong and Macau. We can agree to disagree – EdmundYeung99 Feb 29 '16 at 22:46
  • Indeed , as far as I understand it , like @jcaron said Mainland is excluding all territories that are / were separated from the main China Government ( Taiwan, HK, macau ). It is better conceived like mainland VS. Islands. ( I even heard of Hainan people refering to "mainland" - but in different context ) – Obmerk Kronen Apr 16 '16 at 3:03

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