Question is pretty straight-forward, but why do Hong Kongers (don't know if others too) refer to Mainland China as daai6 luk6 ?

any historical reason for this or etymology?

  • see previous Q: When native Chinese refer to China, what's the difference between 大陆, 中国 and 中国大陆?
    – user6065
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 9:11

2 Answers 2


It's due to the one-China policy (一中原則).

Both CPC (中國共產黨) and KMT (中國國民黨) think there is only one China. Both refer their own places as countries, PRC and ROC, respectively. Both treat the other side as an area or region, 台灣地區 and 大陸地區, respectively. At the beginning, KMT called the other side as 淪陷區. Because it is not a good term, KMT changed it to 大陸地區. 大陸 is a short form of 大陸地區. Many people in HK also moved from 大陸 due to the civil war (國共內戰). Therefore, these people tended to stand on KMT's side, and then used the KMT's term.

中國大陸,中文使用上常通稱 大陸或大陸地區 ,是對中華人民共和國的實際統治領土之稱呼,也是海峽兩岸關係的常見用語之一。 此詞的產生肇因於第二次國共內戰後 ,1949年中華人民共和國成立所導致的海峽兩岸政治分立。
English version

  • well, how do you explain "the china press" is translated to "大陸報", in early 20th century? Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 23:57
  • There are two different stories here. 1. The reason that nowaday people call 支那 as 大陸, as the question asked. 2. The origin of the term 大陸, which is the point you are trying to emphasize. Although the term was used by some people (a million? maybe) before 1949, I think, it was not as popular as today (more than a billion people). The question does not ask when this term appeared. It asks why people use it TODAY.
    – young99
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 5:01
  • the comment in chinese is . . . :-( well, the flow is fragmented, words are unmatched with the tone. i would suggest a more literary chinese approach: 承君詢問﹒誠宜早覆﹒然事忙未及﹒盼諒﹒今膳畢偷閒﹒敬答如下 Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 6:20
  • "此詞的產生肇因於", how do you interpret it? clearly, there's evident that "大陸" is referring to china, long time before 1949. imo, the wiki info is misleading :( Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 6:23
  • 此詞 refers to 中國大陸, not 大陸(地區).
    – vuluvsa
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 6:47

"大陸" as a term referring to china, or, "mainland china" had a long history.

there was an english newspaper "the china press" issued in shanghai, from 1911-1949; it's name in chinese is "大陸報".



the rationale of translating "china" to "大陸", my guess is: viewing from the settlement (租界), the land out of the boundary (aka china) is huge; so,

big - (大)

land - (陸 --> 陸地)

afterward, this term is still used in taiwan & hong kong, till nowadays, e.g.

陸委會 (大陸委員會) is mainland affairs council, an establishment in taiwan.

viewing from hongkong, with the same rationale, north of the "border", that "area" is huge; so the term 大陸 is a vivid, and valid description.

imo, "大陸" as a term for referring to china, is not due to any policy, or, events after 1949.

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