Greater China

This page was last edited on 7 April 2018, at 17:12.

Greater China or the Greater China Region is a term used to refer to Mainland China,[1] Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.[2] As a "phrase of the moment", the precise meaning is not entirely clear, and people may use it for only the commercial ties or only for the cultural actions. The term is not specifically political in usage; ties common between the geographical regions, for instance Chinese-language television, film and music entertainment is commonly attributed to be a cultural aspect of "Greater China".[3][4] The term is also used with reference to business/economic development, such as Focus Taiwan reporting on "economic integration in the Greater China region".[5] Usage of the term may also vary as to the geographic regions it is meant to imply.

The term Greater China is generally used for referring to the cultural and economic ties between the relevant territories, and is not intended to imply sovereignty. But to avoid any political connotation, the term Chinese-speaking world or Sinophone world is often used instead of Greater China.

Greater China
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 大中华地区
Traditional Chinese 大中華地區
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Dà Zhōnghuá Dìqū
Yue: Cantonese
Jyutping daai6 zung1 waa4 dei6 keoi1
Southern Min
Hokkien POJ Tāi Tiong-hôa tē-khu
Chinese-speaking World/Sinophone World
Chinese 中文世界
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin Zhōng wén shì jiè
Yue: Cantonese
Jyutping zung4 man4 sai3 gaai3
Southern Min
Hokkien POJ Tiong-bûn-sè-kài
Japanese name
Kanji 中華圏
Great China Map
Current map of Greater China, which includes Mainland China, Macao, Hong Kong and Taiwan


China Proper 1944
The map of "China" in the 1944 American propaganda film The Battle of China, distinguishing "China proper" from Manchuria, "Mongolia" (here Greater Mongolia including the present country, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Tuva), Sinkiang (modern Xinjiang), and Tibet.

The term was used at least as far back as the 1930s by George Cressey to refer to the entire Chinese Empire, as opposed to China proper.[6] Usage by the United States on government maps in the 1940s as a political term included territories claimed by the Republic of China that were part of the previous empire, or geographically to refer to topographical features associated with China that may or may not have lain entirely within Chinese political borders.[6] The concept began to appear again in Chinese-language sources in the late 1970s, referring the growing commercial ties between the mainland and Hong Kong, with the possibility of extending these to Taiwan, with perhaps the first such reference being in a Taiwanese journal Changqiao in 1979.[6] The English term subsequently re-emerged in the 1980s to refer to the growing economic ties between the regions as well as the possibility of political unification.[6] It is not an institutionalized entity such as the EU or ASEAN. The concept is a generalization to group several markets seen to be closely linked economically and does not imply sovereignty.[7]

Political usage

Greater China
A modern conception of Greater China in yellow     

The term is often used to avoid invoking sensitivities over the political status of Taiwan.[7] For some Asians, the term is a reminder of the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere", a euphemism for the region controlled by the Japanese Empire during the Second World War.[8]

See also


  1. ^ always include HK and Macau
  2. ^ "Apple overtakes Lenovo in China sales". Financial Times. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  3. ^ MTV Channels In Southeast Asia and Greater China To Exclusively Air The Youth Inaugural Ball Archived 2009-05-22 at the Wayback Machine. - MTV Asia
  4. ^ June 1, 2008, Universal Music Group realigns presence in Greater China, Television Asia
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d Harding, Harry (Dec 1993). "The Concept of 'Greater China': Themes, Variations and Reservations". The China Quarterly (136, Special Issue: Greater China): 660.
  7. ^ a b Aretz, Tilman (2007). The greater China factbook. Taipei: Taiwan Elite Press. ISBN 978-986-7762-97-9. OCLC 264977502.
  8. ^ Shambaugh, David (Dec 1993). "Introduction: The Emergence of 'Greater China'". The China Quarterly (136, Special Issue: Greater China): 654.

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