Mainland China

Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, is the geopolitical as well as geographical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It includes Hainan island and strictly speaking, politically, does not include the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, even though both are partially on the geographic mainland (continental landmass).

There are two terms in Chinese for "mainland":

  • Dàlù (大陆; 大陸), which means "the continent", and
  • Nèidì (内地; 內地), literally "inland" or "inner land".

In the PRC, the usage of the two terms are strictly speaking not interchangeable. To emphasize "equal footing" in Cross-Strait relations, the term must be 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", and Mainland China excluding Hong Kong and Macau is referred as Nèidì.

"Mainland area" is the opposing term to "free area of the Republic of China" used in the ROC Constitution.[1]

Mainland China
MainlandChina
The highlighted orange area in the map is what is commonly known as mainland China.
Literal meaningContinental China
Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinZhōnggúo Dàlù
Bopomofoㄓㄨㄥ ㄍㄨㄛˊ ㄉㄚˋ ㄌㄨˋ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhJonggwo Dahluh
Wade–GilesChung¹-Kuo² Ta⁴-lu⁴
Tongyong PinyinJhonggúo Dàlù
MPS2Jūng-gúo Dà-lù
Wu
Romanizationtson koh du loh
Yue: Cantonese
Jyutpingzung1 gwok3 daai6 luk6
Southern Min
Hokkien POJTiong-kok Tāi-lio̍k
Eastern Min
Fuzhou BUCDṳ̆ng-guók Dâi-lṳ̆k
Alternative Chinese name
Literal meaningInland
Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinNèidì
Wu
Romanizationne di
Yue: Cantonese
Jyutpingnoi6 dei6
Southern Min
Hokkien POJlōe-tē / lōe-tōe

Background

In the 1930s the region faced Japanese invasion.[2] By 1949, the Communist Party of China's (CPC) People's Liberation Army had largely defeated the Kuomintang (KMT)'s National Revolutionary Army in the Chinese Civil War on the 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 placed under the control of the Republic of China 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,[3] 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".

The phrase "mainland China" emerged as a politically neutral term to refer to the area under control of the Communist Party of China, and later to the administration of the PRC itself. Until the late 1970s, both the PRC and ROC envisioned a military takeover of the other. During this time the ROC referred to the PRC government as "Communist Bandits" (共匪) while the PRC referred to the ROC as "Chiang Bandits" (蔣匪). Later, as a military solution became less feasible, the ROC referred to the PRC as "Communist China"" (中共). With the democratization of Taiwan in the 1990s, the phrase "mainland China" soon grew to mean not only the area under the control of the Communist Party of China, but also a more neutral means to refer to the People's Republic of China government; this usage remains prevalent by the KMT today.

Due to their status as colonies of foreign states during the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the phrase "mainland China" excludes Hong Kong and Macau.[4] Since the return of Hong Kong and Macau to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 and 1999, respectively, the two territories have retained their legal, political, and economic systems. The territories also have their distinct identities. Therefore, "mainland China" generally continues to exclude these territories, because of the "One country, two systems" policy adopted by the PRC central government towards the regions.[5] The term is also used in economic indicators, such as the IMD Competitiveness Report. International news media often use "China" to refer only to mainland China or the People's Republic of China.

Political use

In mainland China

In the People's Republic of China, the term 内地 ("Inland") is often contrasted with the term 境外 ("outside the border") for things outside the mainland region. Examples include "Administration of Foreign-funded Banks" (中華人民共和國外資銀行管理條例) or the "Measures on Administration of Representative Offices of Foreign Insurance Institutions" (外國保險機構駐華代表機構管理辦法).[5]

Hainan is an offshore island, therefore geographically not part of the continental mainland. Nevertheless, politically it is common practice to consider it part of the mainland because its government, legal and political systems do not differ from the rest of the People's Republic within the geographical mainland. Nonetheless, Hainanese people still refer to the geographic mainland as "the mainland" and call its residents "mainlanders".[6] In some coastal provinces such as Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangsu, people often call the area of non-coastal provinces in of Mainland China as "Inland" (内地).

In Taiwan

In Taiwan, certain people, the Kuomintang (KMT, "Chinese Nationalist Party") and its supporters use the term "mainland" is to refer to the territory of the PRC (Hong Kong and Macau excluded). This accords with the KMT position that China encompasses both sides of the Taiwan Strait.[7] Since the KMT was the ruling party in Taiwan until 2000 and the only party allowed until the late 1980s, and had set up the educational system and taught children the term since its takeover in 1945, the term has been in mainstream use and usually has no particular political connotations, since generations born after the takeover were taught that Taiwan is part of Republic of China, and so is mainland China, and that they are "Chinese".

Government organizations and official and legal documents in Taiwan, including the Republic of China Constitution also use "the mainland" to refer to mainland China, since the ROC government has never recognized the founding of the PRC and because its Constitution does not allow the existence of another state within its territory, constitutional amendments made in the 1990s had to refer to the area occupied by PRC as "mainland", since it is officially considered still part of the ROC territory but just enemy occupied. In contrast, the pro-Taiwan independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) prefer to use the term "China" instead, referring to the PRC, to imply that Taiwan (ROC) is separate from China.[7][8] Related to this naming and broader national identity issue, the DPP would also like to amend the ROC constitution to limit its scope and territorial description to the Free area of the Republic of China only and rectify the ROC country name to "Republic of Taiwan" instead, thereby eliminating the need to refer to the "mainland area" and "Free Area" altogether.[9]

In 1992, a high-level political meeting between the ROC and PRC was held in Hong Kong where what became called the "1992 Consensus" developed. This "consensus" essentially reaffirmed that both the ROC (then under KMT administration) and the PRC agree there is only "one China" in a definition that covers both sides of Taiwan Strait, but they differ on their own interpretation of what that "China" means. Each interprets and believes it is the China and has a claim on the territories held by the other. In this context, the term "Mainland China" is agreeable to both sides since they both conceive "China" as including mainland and Taiwan, and therefore need this term to distinguish the two areas. However, since it was the KMT who came to this consensus with China, the Pan Green Coalition does not embrace this term as the Pan Blue Coalition does.

In Taiwan, under the concept of "Mainlander" another comparative term often used is waishengren (外省人; wàishěngrén; "external province person(s)"), which are the people who immigrated to Taiwan from mainland China with the Kuomintang (KMT) around the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, as well as their descendants born in Taiwan. The status of waishengren in Taiwan is a divisive political issue. For many years certain groups of mainlanders were given special treatment by the KMT government which had imposed martial law on Taiwan. More recently, pro-Taiwan independence politicians calling into question their loyalty and devotion to Taiwan and pro-Chinese reunification politicians accusing the pro-independence politicians of playing identity politics.[10] The term "Mainlander" mostly refers to daluren (大陆人; 大陸人; dàlùrén; "mainland person(s)"), meaning people who live in mainland China.

After the Republic of China's relocation to Taiwan, the Kuomintang party-state embued the term dalu with nostalgic overtones, associating it with "the land of the utopian past [and] childhood". Schoolchildren were taught slogans like "Counterattack the mainland!" (反攻大陸!) and "Save our mainland compatriots from the deepest water and hottest fire!" (拯救大陸同胞于水深火熱之中!).[11] The Taiwanese were also told that they were the guardians of traditional Chinese culture until political reunification. However, democratization on Taiwan has led to the rise of voices which denounced traditional attitudes towards the mainland and the ancestral home system, pressing for Taiwanization, Desinicization, and "Taiwan cultural independence" (文化台獨). Concurrently, the mainland Chinese economic reform changed the connotation of "mainland China" to one of "primitiveness, nativeness, and raw cultural material for economic gain", as well as condescention because of Taiwan's comparatively advanced economy.[11] Warlike phrases like "Counterattack the mainland!" saw a revival, but in reference to the economic expansion of Taiwanese businesses. Despite the re-branding of the Kuomintang in the 1990s as a party "native" to Taiwan, Kuomintang continues to produce a variety of mainland-related media such as the television program "Searching for the Strange on the Mainland" (大陸尋奇).[11]

In Hong Kong and Macau

In Hong Kong and Macau, the terms "mainland China" and "mainlander" are frequently used for people from China's mainland. The Chinese term Neidi (內地), meaning the inland but still translated mainland in English, is commonly applied by SAR governments to represent non-SAR areas of PRC, including Hainan province and coastal regions of mainland China, such as "Constitutional and Mainland Affairs" (政制及內地事務局)[12] and Immigration Departments.[13]

In the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (as well as the Mainland and Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) the CPG also uses the Chinese characters 内地 "inner land", with the note that they refer to the "customs territory of China".[14]

Others

In the United States' Taiwan Relations Act, the ROC-controlled islands of Quemoy and Matsu were excluded from the definition of "Taiwan". The House Foreign Affairs Committee justified this exclusion on the grounds that "Quemoy and Matsu are considered by both Taipei and by Beijing to be part of mainland China".[15] Quemoy and Matsu are geologically part of the continental mainland.[16]

Other terms

Other use of geography-related terms are also often used where neutrality is required.

Simplified
Chinese
Traditional
Chinese
Pinyin Jyutping Hokkien POJ Description
海峡两岸 海峽兩岸 Hǎixiá liǎng'àn Hoi2 haap6 loeng5 ngon6 Hái-kiap lióng-gān The physical shores on both sides of the straits, may be translated as "two shores".
两岸关系 兩岸關係 liǎng'àn guānxì loeng5 ngon6 gwaan1 hai6 lióng-gān koan-hē Reference to the Taiwan Strait (cross-Strait relations, literally "relations between the two sides/shores [of the Strait of Taiwan]").
两岸三地 兩岸三地 liǎng'àn sāndì loeng5 ngon6 saam1 dei6 lióng-gān sam-tè An extension of this is the phrase "two shores, three places", with "three places" meaning mainland China, Taiwan, and either Hong Kong or Macau.
两岸四地 兩岸四地 liǎng'àn sìdì loeng5 ngon6 sei3 dei6 lióng-gān sù-tè When referring to either Hong Kong or Macau, or "two shores, four places" when referring to both Hong Kong and Macau.

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ Additional Articles to the Republic of China Constitution, 6th Revision, 2000
  2. ^ "...imperial Japan launched its invasion of the Chinese mainland in the 1930s" The Two Koreas and the Great Powers, Cambridge University Press, 2006, page 43.
  3. ^ Jeshurun, Chandran, ed. (1993). China, India, Japan and the Security of Southeast Asia. Singapore: ISEAS. p. 146. ISBN 9813016612.
  4. ^ So, Alvin Y.; Lin, Nan; Poston, Dudley L., eds. (2001). The Chinese Triangle of mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong : comparative institutional analyses. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313308697.
  5. ^ a b LegCo. "Legislative council HK." Mainland Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Bill. Retrieved on 2008-03-10.
  6. ^ 海南人为什么喜欢叫外省人叫大陆人?. wenwen.sogou.com. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b Wachman, Alan (1994). Taiwan: National Identity and Democratization. M.E. Sharpe. p. 81.
  8. ^ DPP is firm on China name issue. Taipei Times (2013-07-14). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  9. ^ [1] Democratic Progressive Party Platform: Taiwan Sovereignty page
  10. ^ Apdrc.org. "Apdrc.org Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine." Taiwan's Identity Politics. Retrieved on 2008-03-10.
  11. ^ a b c Shih, Shu-mei (2007). "A Short History of The "Mainland"". Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations Across the Pacific. University of California press. pp. 124–129.
  12. ^ Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. "Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China." Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-03-10.
  13. ^ Chinese version Archived 2009-11-27 at the Wayback Machine, English version Archived 2009-02-04 at the Wayback Machine, Statistics on Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (輸入內地人才計劃數據資料), Immigration Department (Hong Kong).
  14. ^ English Text Chinese text Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Kan, Shirley (2011-06-24). "China/Taiwan: Evolution of the "One China" Policy -- Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. p. 36. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  16. ^ Copper, John (2012). Taiwan. ReadHowYouWant. p. 4.

Sources

External links

2005 Pan–Blue visits to mainland China

The 2005 Pan–Blue visits to mainland China were a series of groundbreaking visits by delegations of the Kuomintang (KMT) and their allied Pan-Blue Coalition to mainland China. They were hailed as the highest level of exchange between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang since Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong met in Chongqing, China on August 28, 1945.

On March 28, 2005, the Kuomintang's vice chairman Chiang Pin-kung led a delegation in the first official visit to mainland China by a senior leader of the Kuomintang in 60 years. Later, on April 26, 2005, a 70-member delegation led by the Kuomintang's chairman Lien Chan left Taipei for the ROC's de jure capital of Nanjing via Hong Kong, launching Lien's 8-day Taiwan Strait peace tour; also the first such visit to mainland China in 60 years.

While in mainland China, Lien met with General Secretary Hu Jintao and expressed interest in improving cross-strait dialogues. Both also re-affirmed a belief in the "One China principle", which was not acknowledged by Taiwan's then-ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP); a part of Taiwan's Pan-Green Coalition.

Lien's itinerary also included visits to Xi'an, where he had lived as a child during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II; Nanjing, the official capital of the Republic of China and the site of the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum; and Shanghai, China's largest city and site of extensive Taiwanese financial and economic investment in recent years.

Censorship in China

Censorship in the People's Republic of China (PRC) is implemented or mandated by the PRC's ruling party, the Communist Party of China (CPC). The government censors content for mainly political reasons, but also to maintain its control over the populace. The Chinese government asserts that it has the legal right to control the internet's content within their territory and that their censorship rules do not infringe on the citizen's right to free speech. Since Xi Jinping became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (de facto paramount leader) in 2012, censorship has been "significantly stepped up".The government maintains censorship over all media capable of reaching a wide audience. This includes television, print media, radio, film, theater, text messaging, instant messaging, video games, literature, and the Internet. Chinese officials have access to uncensored information via an internal document system.

Reporters Without Borders ranks China's press situation as "very serious", the worst ranking on their five-point scale. In August 2012, the OpenNet Initiative classified Internet censorship in China as "pervasive" in the political and conflict/security areas and "substantial" in the social and Internet tools areas, the two most extensive classifications of the five they use. Freedom House, a US backed NGO, ranks the press there as "not free", the worst ranking, saying that "state control over the news media in China is achieved through a complex combination of party monitoring of news content, legal restrictions on journalists, and financial incentives for self-censorship," and an increasing practice of "cyber-disappearance" of material written by or about activist bloggers.Other views suggest that Chinese businesses such as Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba, some of the world's largest internet enterprises, have benefited from the way China blocked international rivals from the domestic market.

Censorship of Wikipedia

Censorship of Wikipedia has occurred in several countries, including China, France, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. Some instances are examples of widespread internet censorship in general that includes Wikipedia content. Others are indicative of measures to prevent the viewing of specific content deemed offensive. The length of different blocks have varied from days to years. When Wikipedia ran on the HTTP protocol, governments were able to block specific articles. However, in 2011 Wikipedia began running on HTTPS as well, and in 2015 switched over entirely. Since then, the only censorship option had been to block the entire site for a particular language, which has resulted in some countries dropping their bans and others expanding their bans to the entire site.

Demographics of China

The demographics of China demonstrate a large population with a relatively small youth component, partially a result of China's one-child policy. China's population reached the billion mark in 1982.

In 2019, China's population stands at 1.418 billion, the largest of any country in the world. According to the 2010 census, 91.51% of the population was Han Chinese, and 8.49% were minorities. China's population growth rate is only 0.59%, ranking 159th in the world. China conducted its sixth national population census on 1 November 2010. Unless otherwise indicated, the statistics on this page pertain to mainland China only; see also Demographics of Hong Kong and Demographics of Macau.

Environment of China

The environment of China (Chinese: 中国的环境) comprises diverse biotas, climates, and geologies. Rapid industrialization, population growth, and lax environmental oversight have caused many environmental issues and large-scale pollution.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea (; common names hydrangea or hortensia) is a genus of 70–75 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas. By far the greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably China, Japan, and Korea. Most are shrubs 1 to 3 meters tall, but some are small trees, and others lianas reaching up to 30 m (98 ft) by climbing up trees. They can be either deciduous or evergreen, though the widely cultivated temperate species are all deciduous.Having been introduced to the Azores, H. macrophylla is now very common, particularly on Faial, which is known as the "blue island" due to the vast number of hydrangeas present on the island.

‘Hydrangea’ is derived from Greek and means ‘water vessel’, which is in reference to the shape of its seed capsules. The earlier name, Hortensia, is a Latinised version of the French given name Hortense, referring to the wife of Jean-André Lepaute.

Internet censorship in China

Internet censorship in China is among the most extensive censorship in the world due to a wide variety of legal and administrative regulations. More than sixty internet restrictions have been created by the Government of China, which have been implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISP, companies, and organizations. According to CNN, the apparatus of China's internet control is considered more extensive and advanced than any other country in the world. The government authorities not only block website content but also monitor internet access of individuals. Such measures have attracted the derisive nickname "The Great Firewall of China."

As per Hoffman, different methods are used to block certain websites or pages including DNS poisoning, blocking access to IPs, analyzing and filtering URLs, inspecting filter packets and resetting connections.Amnesty International notes that China has "the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world," and Paris-based Reporters Without Borders stated in 2010 and 2012 that "China is the world's biggest prison for Netizens." The offences which they are accused of include communicating with groups abroad, signing online petitions and calling for reform and an end to corruption. The escalation of the government's effort to neutralize critical online opinions comes after a series of large anti-pollution and anti-corruption protests, as well as ethnic riots, many of which were organised or publicized using instant messaging services, chat rooms, and text messages. The size of the Chinese internet police force was reported by state media to be 2 million in 2013.Carrie Gracie wrote that local Chinese businesses such as Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba, some of the world's largest internet enterprises, benefited from the way China blocked international rivals from the market thus encouraging domestic competition.Since May 2015, Chinese Wikipedia has been blocked in mainland China. This was done after Wikipedia started to use HTTPS encryption which made selective censorship more difficult or impossible.

Although the censorship affects the whole nation, it does not affect China's special administrative regions such as Hong Kong and Macau. These regions enjoy a high degree of autonomy, as specified in local laws and the "One country, two systems" principle. Nevertheless, it was reported that the central government authorities have been closely monitoring the Internet use in these regions.

List of airports in China

This is a list of public airports in the People's Republic of China grouped by provincial level division and sorted by main city served. It includes airports that are being built or scheduled for construction, but excludes defunct airports and military air bases.

There were 229 civil airports at the end of 2017, with a few dozen more under construction.

List of companies of China

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia. With a population of over 1.404 billion, it is the world's most populous country. The state is governed by the Communist Party of China, and its capital is Beijing. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau), and claims sovereignty over Taiwan. The country's major urban areas include Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Hong Kong. China is a great power and a major regional power within Asia, and has been characterized as a potential superpower.Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world's fastest-growing major economies. As of 2016, it was the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). China was also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the BCIM and the G-20.

A company incorporated in any of China's special administrative regions is not considered to be incorporated in China. See the corresponding list for companies incorporated in China's special administrative regions. For further information on the types of business entities in this country and their abbreviations, see "Business entities in China".

List of highest-grossing films in China

The following is a list of the highest-grossing films in China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), based on data by Entgroup's China Boxoffice (CBO) website with the gross in yuan.

List of most valuable crops and livestock products

The following list, derived from the statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) unless otherwise noted, lists the most important agricultural products produced by the countries of the world.The value and production of individual crops varies substantially from year to year as prices fluctuate on the world and country markets and weather and other factors influence production.

Source: Food and Agricultural Organization. https://web.archive.org/web/20110713020710/http://faostat.fao.org/site/339/default.aspx, accessed 2013, 2018,

http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QV

List of political parties in China

China, officially the People's Republic of China, is formally a multi-party state under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in a United Front similar to the popular fronts of former Communist-era Eastern European countries such as the National Front of Democratic Germany.

Under the one country, two systems scheme, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, which were previously colonies of European powers, operate under a different political system to the rest of China. Currently, both Hong Kong and Macau possess multi-party systems.

List of universities in China

This article is a list of universities in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau (of P.R.C.).

By May 2017, there were 2,914 colleges and universities, with over 20 million students enrolled in mainland China. More than 6 million Chinese students graduated from university in 2008. The "Project 211" for creating 100 universities began in the mid-1990s, and has merged more than 700 institutions of higher learning into about 300 universities. Corresponding with the merging of many public universities, has been the rapid expansion of the private sector in mainland China since 1999. Although private university enrollments are not clear, one report listed that in 2006 private universities accounted for around 6 percent, or about 1.3 million, of the 20 million students enrolled in formal higher education in China. As of 2018, the country has the world's second highest number of top universities.

Public holidays in China

There are currently seven official public holidays in mainland China. Each year's holidays are announced about three weeks before the start of the year by the General Office of the State Council. A notable feature of mainland Chinese holidays is that weekends are usually swapped with the weekdays next to the actual holiday to create a longer holiday period.

Rail transport in China

Rail transport is an important mode of long-distance transportation in the People's Republic of China. As of 2015, the country has 121,000 km (75,186 mi) of railways, the second longest network in the world. By the end of 2018, China had 29,000 kilometres (18,020 miles) of high-speed rail (HSR), the longest HSR network in the world.[4]Almost all rail operations are handled by the China Railway Corporation, a state-owned company created in March 2013 from dissolution of the Ministry of Railways.

China's railways are among the busiest in the world. In 2014, railways in China delivered 2.357 billion passenger trips, generating 1,160.48 billion passenger-kilometres and carried 3.813 billion tonnes of freight, generating 2,753 billion cargo tonne-kilometres. Freight traffic turnover has increased more than fivefold over the period 1980-2013 and passenger traffic turnover has increased more than sevenfold over the same period. Driven by need to increase freight capacity, the railway network has expanded with the country budgeting $130.4 billion for railway investment in 2014, and has a long term plan to expand the network to 274,000 km (170,000 mi) by 2050. China built 9,000 km of new railway in 2015.

Simplified Chinese characters

Simplified Chinese characters (简化字; jiǎnhuàzì) are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Traditional Chinese characters are currently used in Hong Kong, Macau, and the Republic of China (Taiwan). While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups generally retain their use of Simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities generally tend to use traditional characters.

Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name above or colloquially (简体字; jiǎntǐzì). The latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms. On the other hand, the official name refers to the modern systematically simplified character set, which (as stated by then-Chairman Mao Zedong in 1952) includes not only structural simplification but also substantial reduction in the total number of standardized Chinese characters.Simplified character forms were created by reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of Chinese characters. Some simplifications were based on popular cursive forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the traditional forms. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules, for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simplified version of the component. Variant characters with the same pronunciation and identical meaning were reduced to a single standardized character, usually the simplest amongst all variants in form. Finally, many characters were left untouched by simplification, and are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies.

Some simplified characters are very dissimilar to and unpredictably different from traditional characters, especially in those where a component is replaced by a simple symbol. This often leads opponents not well-versed in the method of simplification to conclude that the 'overall process' of character simplification is arbitrary. In reality, the methods and rules of simplification are few and internally consistent. On the other hand, proponents of simplification often flaunt a few choice simplified characters as ingenious inventions, when in fact these have existed for hundreds of years as ancient variants.A second round of simplifications was promulgated in 1977, but was later retracted in 1986 for a variety of reasons, largely due to the confusion caused and the unpopularity of the second round simplifications. However, the Chinese government never officially dropped its goal of further simplification in the future.In August 2009, the PRC began collecting public comments for a modified list of simplified characters. The new Table of General Standard Chinese Characters consisting of 8,105 (simplified and unchanged) characters was officially implemented for use by the State Council of the People's Republic of China on June 5, 2013.

Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters (traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字; simplified Chinese: 正体字/繁体字; Pinyin: Zhèngtǐzì/Fántǐzì) are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century (during the Southern and Northern Dynasties).

The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s.

Traditional Chinese characters are currently used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau; as well as in Overseas Chinese communities outside Southeast Asia. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.

The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. Currently, a large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets.

Vehicle registration plates of China

Vehicle registration plates in China (Chinese: 牌照; pinyin: pái zhào) are mandatory metal or plastic plates attached to motor vehicles in mainland China for official identification purposes. The plates are issued by the local Vehicle Management Offices, under the administration of the Ministry of Public Security.

Hong Kong and Macau, both of which are Special administrative regions of China, issue their own licence plates, a legacy of when they were under British and Portuguese administration. Vehicles from Hong Kong and Macau are required to apply for licence plates, usually from Guangdong province, to travel on roads in Mainland China. Vehicles from Mainland China have to apply for Hong Kong licence plates or Macau licence plates to enter those territories .

The number of registered cars, buses, vans, and trucks on the road in China reached 62 million in 2009, and is expected to exceed 200 million by 2020.The font used on the plates were said to be modified from the East Asian Gothic typeface, but speculations exist as the numbers and letters somewhat bear similarity with the German font DIN 1451.

Websites blocked in mainland China

As of September 2018, about

10,000 domain names are blocked in mainland China under the country's Internet censorship policy, which prevents users from accessing proscribed websites from within the country.

This is a list of the most notable such blocked websites in the country. This page does not apply to the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, where most of Chinese law does not apply, nor does it apply to Taiwan.

Note that many of the sites listed may be occasionally or even regularly available, depending on the access location or current events.

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