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Why is 遙 simplified into 遥? The second does not really look simpler - except in this unfortunate digital form that I now see that certainly was of no consideration to those who enacted simplification - and it takes the same number of strokes to write. It seems an awful lot of effort to enact such a change for the little apparent return in simplicity.

More specifically, what criterion was followed for this simplification?

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People outside Chinese region may think any type of character form change in Mainland China are "simplifications", which is not true. The example in your question is actually glyph differences, which are called "New Character Forms" or "Xin Zixing". It regulates the orthodox form of parts of glyphs, while "simplification" deals with "which parts are used to form a character".

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  • Other than the PRC's simplification of Chinese words (簡體), there is always a simplified form of words in writing (簡寫), as opposed to the traditional word form正統繁體, that has nothing to do with Xin Zixing. Many of the PRC's simplified words were directly carried over from the old simplified words in writing. – r13 May 1 at 1:29
  • Do you mean the orthography opposed to Classical glyphs (傳承字形)? – Aurus Huang May 12 at 6:53

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