Talk:China proper/Archive 1

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Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

What about Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan? By the way, where does this term come from. Is it a generally accepted one? - Olivier

I've seen this phrase in literature several times.
It doesn't include TW for sure. Not sure about HK and Macau. --Menchi 11:19, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Inner Asia

So I came here, redirected from Inner Asia. Fine. But dismissing Inner Asia as a confusion of Central Asia is not cool. The term "Inner Asia", introduced by Hungarian-born Louis (Lajos) Ligeti and introduced to the U.S. by D. Sinor (Univ. of Indianna), is a widely recognised term in those parts of the world for the region stretching from the Caspian to Manchuria, from the Altai to the Himalayas. It may be preferable to the term "Central Asia" which means many different things to different people. --Iceager 06:00, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Former provinces

For every province, there is a xunfu (巡撫), a political overseer on emperor's behalf and a tidu (提督), a military governor. In addition, there is a zongdu (總督) general military inspector for two or three provinces together.

For Outer Chinese regions of Fengtian (now Liaoning), Jilin, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, and Mongolia, the military leaders are generals (將軍) and vice-tudong (副都統), and civilian leaders are heads of the leagues (盟長).

Is this still the case, or should it be in the past tense? Markalexander100 11:05, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Past tense it should be. Thanks for noticing. --Menchi 11:19, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

China proper does NOT include TW for sure.If Taiwan is included , Manchuria , inner mongolia , and taibet must be included. Let me show the evidence, in 19 century the great scholar and officer of Qing empire, 魏源[wei yuan](1794~1857), also said Taiwan is not included in China proper in his writings.So someone is talking a lie out of political modivation. -anon

Does Wei Yuan automatically count as the only and paramount authority on the definition of China proper?

Do you, RAN ,has any example to show us TW is part of the historical heartlands?

The article clearly states that one traditional definition of China proper is the area covered by the 18 provinces of the Qing Dynasty. Since Taiwan was a part of Fujian province, which was in turn one of the 18 provinces, thus Taiwan is, by at least one definition of China proper, a part of China proper.
I don't agree to this. For example, some part of Manchuria is incorporated to province of Inner mongolia by people's republic of China out of some political reason,but we can not consider this part as part of Inner mongolia geographically. -anon
You don't have to agree. The point here isn't to agree, it's to gather up all of our arguments and put them together as a complete, NPOV article. In any case, the definition of China proper uses the provinces of the Qing Dynasty, not the provinces of the PRC; the provinces of the PRC clearly have nothing to do with the concept of China proper; the provinces of the Qing Dynasty did. The extent to which they did is of course open to debate. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 07:42, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)

WAIT a minute,ran.part of Manchuria was also incorporated into Inner mongolia in Qing empire. If this part of Manchuria can not be consider as part of Inner mongolia,in the same logic why should taiwan part of Fujian?

You're welcome to introduce other definitions into the article, of course (say, the area administered by the Ming Dynasty), but that would in turn be just another traditional definition. In other words, Taiwan would not be a part of China proper under that particular definition, which is just one definition out of several possibilities.
You have to realize that this is a controversial topic, with plenty of wiggle room for everyone to define things in the way they like it. If you want to achieve NPOV, then all of those views have to be reflected. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 07:17, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)

Move here until we can reach some sort of consensus

However Taiwan was still not part of China proper.For example, some part of Manchuria is incorporated to province of Inner mongolia by people's republic of China out of some political reason,but we can not consider this part as part of Inner mongolia geographically.

Roadrunner 07:30, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

That's one line of argument, and should be reflected as just that in an NPOV article — but not as indisputable fact. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 07:40, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)
here province of Inner mongolia I mean is Inner mongolia Autonomous Region -anon

ran, show me evidence which official books of Qing empire considered TW as part of China proper and not considered manchuria or mongolia as part of China proper at the same time.

But how would I know what to look for, if the only Chinese translation for "China proper" is "yishiba xingsheng" in the first place? Perhaps you should show me that text by Wei Yuan first, so that I know what term I'm supposed to be looking for. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 08:11, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)

但是人们概念还是相当模糊的,甚至是自相矛盾的,就是著名的官员和学者也在所难免。像魏源(1794-1857)这样一位杰出的学者和思想家也是如此。在他的著作中,“中国”一词有时是指整个清朝,和今天的用法已经完全一样;但有时却只指传统的“中国”范围,即内地十八省,而不包括蒙古、西藏、青海、新疆、东北和台湾在内. Let me translate this for all of you."but the concept of China is very ambiguous, even the famous officers and scholars are no exception". for example, wei yuan(1794-1857),a excellent scholar and philosopher ,thought that "central empire(china)" refer to the whole qing empire. but sometimes he meant only traditional region of china,which meant china proper(inland/inner mainland eighteen provinces),and it dosen't included mongolia,tibet, qinghai,Xinjiang,manchuria and TAIWAN. interesting enough, he didn't think TAIWAN is part of china proper because Taiwan is NOT part of "inland eighteen provinces despite it associate with Fuijiang province.

Why? because seriously speaking, TAIWAN at that time was temporarily "entrusted and controlled" by Fuijiang province for convinence concerned.

Sadly, the writer of that article is in error when he/she writes that the eighteen provinces did not include Taiwan, for the simple reason that they indeed did. (Would you like to explain to me how Taiwan, a circuit of Fujian, was any different or more "temporary" than any other circuit in Fujian or anywhere else in China?) If we define "China proper" as "the 18 Qing provinces", then Taiwan is part of China proper.

SADLY RAN, WEI YUAN SAID "THE MAINLAND eighteen provinces" did not include Taiwan,and Of course TAIWAN IS NOT on the mainland, you idiot.

Let me give you a example,ran.

don't panic,ran. Yunnan and Guizhou are considered as outer China. However, they are within eighteen provinces. Now tell me, ran, do you still stick to your sucking historical knowledge?

Perhaps the writer means, instead, that Wei Yuan is using "zhongguo" to refer to the "traditional sense" of China in the sense of China under the Ming Dynasty or previous dynasties. In that case, then Taiwan would not be a part of China proper, because Taiwan was not administered by the Ming Dynasty or any dynasty before the Ming.

don't keep lying,ran.What Wei Yuan meant is exactly "the historical heartlands of china". Maybe we can find an American or an european who understands chinese to tell you what he meant.

Once again, let me get this clear: there are two competing definitions of China proper here, one that uses the vague but intuitive boundary of Han Chinese dynasties, and one that uses the precise but mechanical boundary of the 18 Qing provinces. The former does not include Taiwan, the latter does. Which one you pick depends on your political views. An NPOV article should reflect both views. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 09:12, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)

Ran, you are wrong because QING EMPIRE define the historical heartlands of china as "內地十八行省"(inland/inner eighteen provinces),not only eighteen provinces. so that's why Menchi said china proper doesn't include TW for sure.

tell me ,ran.why the qing empire forbiden the migration from Fujian to taiwan when they are the same province? IF taiwan is naturally part of Fujian ,why later qing epire established a new province of taiwan? we should adapt the viewpoint of qing empire because china proper is about his 18 province.ok, ran,It is your turn to show me evidence which official books of Qing empire considered TW as part of China proper and not considered manchuria or mongolia as part of China proper at the same time.

I strongly protest that taiwan is part of Fujian province. The qing empire obeviously treat Fujian and Taiwan differently.I have to say Taiwan is NOT incorporated into Fujian , and that is why officers like Wei Yuan considered taiwan as outer china like mongolia. Qing empire even wanted to withdraw from taiwan at first because it felt taiwan took too much money to maintain.And that's why I said "temporarily "controlled"(or you can say entrusted) by Fuijiang province for convinence concerned",because they may withdraw from taiwan at any time! Ran never give a evidence.Maybe ran's country is used to teaching them lying as what they said in the Goguryeo issue despite all their ancient official historic books considering Goguryeo as a foreign country.(OK,even if taiwan is part of Fujian province, TW is still not part of China proper according to wei yuan)

-- anon

Would you like to collect your points together and put them down in an organized format first before I respond? Right now your various lines of thought are scattered all over the place in a bewildering, unreadable format. Please, it's hard on the eyes.

Also, considering that I left "my country" (I'm assuming you mean the PRC) at an early age and basically received no schooling there, I wonder what you mean by them "teaching" me what to believe. My beliefs are the result of thought on my part, and I do not appreciate your doubting of my independent capacity to think. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 03:24, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone know when "China proper" was used in English for the first time? It's about late 18 century because Britain started to try to establish diplomatic relationship and get familiar with China at that time. "China proper" is not created from nothing. The concept of "China proper" actually comes from the definition of historical heartlands of China by Qing empire, and that is 內地十八省. (內地=mainland,十八=eighteen,省=province.)

Ran, you should go to consult Encyclopaedia Britannica and do some homework before you express your opinion. I don't want to bother your independent capacity to think, but you seems to try to define it by yourself without any proof to support your viewpoint.Isn't it ridiculous that a professional English encyclopedia adopt the definition of a non-native speakers of English of his own?

Wow. It's cooking here. Let's let the politicians do the quarreling. Has anybody thought of leaving all the historical and political definitions by some scholar or politician behind and think of it in a geographical sense? We would have pretty defined boarders in the East and southeast (Ocean), the West (Tibetan plateau), in the north the boarder would be the desert. In the south...hmm...some jungle maybe. Or just take the Boarder, but then it gets political again.

By the Way ... I think the term "China Proper" only exists in english. Have you seen a link at the left side which links this page to the same article in another language? no. So i think maybe it is quite ridiculous to make such a fuss about all this.

The same problem exists with the term "southeast asia" "southasia", seems that every scholar defines his/her own boarders. It depends on the context he/she writes about. --kirschner--

well y would inner MONGOLIA be part of china proper? isnt inner mongolia part of mongolia that come out of end of the yuan dynasty? OTOH, where is the argument that FuJian (from qing on back) isnt part of china proper? y would the island of taiwan, as part of the FuJian province, not be in china proper? just b/c two dying dynastys had found it such a good place to escape to it is not part of china? wat would the view be once taiwan is brought back into china? ppl have some mestedup POV. if taiwan is not part of china proper, is the statue of liberty part of the continental united states?

and can sb remove the repeating parts of this talk page? its already 55 kb1698 2005 October 31 20:53 (PST)

As a point to the anon, the relation of Taiwan to Fujian before provincialhood would be no different than a territory administered by the US before statehood, with agreements with the aborigines equivalent to the US agreements with various Native American tribes.

Inner Mongolia

There is a problem here. Inner Mongolia *was* ruled by standard provincial administrations during the Qing dynasty. It wasn't until the PRC, that non-provincial administrations were set up.

Roadrunner 07:32, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

No, it wasn't... Inner Mongolia was ruled under leagues and banners. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 07:40, Sep 18, 2004 (UTC)

Question about term 18 provinces

Was that ever used historically? If it wasn't (and I don't think it was) it should be mentioned that it wasn't.

Yes, but Qing empire used 內地十八行省(inland/inner/mainland eighteen provinces) to represent the historical heartlands of china, not only "eighteen provinces".

I have a idea maybe we should redefine "china proper" as official 15 province of ming empire.Why not? Outer china(邊疆) was used by qing empire to in contrast with the original china proper which is similar with official 15 province of ming is the proof:

don't panic,ran. Yunnan and Guizhou are considered as outer China,and they are not part of official 15 province of ming empire. However, they are within eighteen provinces.Now tell me, ran, do you still stick to your sucking historical knowledge?

OK, let's get it straight.Is China proper a political term or geographical term ? If it is a geographical term, there is no way to include taiwan in China proper because TW is a island far from mainland. If it is a political term , there is a term used by qing empire called "內地十八省", which means "inland/or inner 18 provinces". Here is the proof:

(sorry it is the same link, but a short while ago I didn't translate it right and ignore a very important word.) 但有時卻只指傳統的“中國”范圍,即內地十八省,而不包括蒙古、西藏、青海、新疆、東北和台 灣在內。 translation:sometimes "china" only means the traditional area (historical heartlands) of china,which means "inland/inner/mainland eighteen province".it dosen't included mongolia,tibet,qinghai,Xinjiang,manchuria and TAIWAN.

Here I have to emphasize the word "inland/inner/mainland", and that's why the Qing officer didn't consider taiwan as part of the traditional area of china(China proper).

can anyone rewrite this article? There do exist a chinese word for China proper(內地十八行省) ,because they have the same meaning:the historical heartlands of china.

I have to say it is really ridiculos to consider taiwan as the historical heartlands of china. Take a look at the map of Chin dynasty more than 2000 years ago.Fujian has been part of china for more than 2000 years since Chin dynasty, while taiwan was part of manchu empire only for about 200 years. Let alone Vietnam was part of china for about 1000 years. If taiwan is the historical heartlands of china, then vietnam is surely the historical heartlands of china. So the original definition is not right because the true definition of china proper is "nei-di-shi-ba-xing-sheng"(內地十八行省=mainland eighteen provinces). Instead of correcting the wrong definition, some guys like ran tries to mislead readers on purpose ,and this really disgusted me.

Honestly speaking ,China proper is an english noun , and therefore we should ask native speakers of English, especially Sinologist. If you ask any Sinologist familiar with history of China whether Taiwan is included in China proper or not, I am sure the answer is definitely "NO".

Ran, we define China proper as "內地十八行省"(=mainland eighteen provinces). If you don't agree to this ,we wait for your debate.

Well, I has a question about the term 18 provinces. As far as I am concerned, I know that 1911 edition Encyclopaedia Britannica described China proper as 18 provinces, but Taiwan was part of Japan at this time. Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1894, and therefore we have to know what Encyclopaedia Britannica before 1894 edition say about China proper. -- Anon

I suggest everyone go to a library and consult the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The term "eighteen provinces" we are talking about actually comes from 1911 edition Encyclopaedia Britannica "China i proper or the Eighteen. Provinces (Ski h-p a-shfng) occupies the south-eastern part of the empire. It is bounded N. by Mongolia, W. by Turkestan and Tibet, S.W. by Burma, S. by Tongking and the gulf of that name, S.E. by the South China Sea, E. by the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, Gulf of Chih-li and Manchuria. Its area is approximately 1,500,000 sq. m." However Taiwan was part of Japan in 1911, and therefore we should look it up in older edition before Sino-Japanese War(1894-1895). After checking it up in the library ,every edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica before 1894 I can find tells me that China proper does not included Taiwan. So I am sure the writer of the original article got confused with the time scale. He mistook the definition of 1911 edition Encyclopaedia Britannica for the definition of China proper all the time. In a word, the article needs to thoroughly re-edited.

Chinese translation for China proper

The article says that there is no direct translation for the term "China proper" in the Chinese language, so I think we should adopt the viewpoint of native speakers of English,not the viewpoint of native speakers of Chinese.Ross Terrill,a sinologist from USA, states that China proper is in contrast with the peripheral parts of the Chinese empire in his writings. And according to him the peripheral parts of the Chinese empire include Xinjiang,Tibet,Manchuria,mongolia and Taiwan. So in this way we can clearly understand what belongs to China proper and what does not. -- Anon

please sign your posts and arrange them chronologically. It's very confusing otherwise. The way you had it looked like Olivier said those things. --Menchi 03:31, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone know when "China proper" was used in English for the first time? It's about late 18 century because Britain started to try to establish diplomatic relationship and get familiar with China at that time. "China proper" is not created from nothing. The concept of "China proper" actually comes from the definition of historical heartlands of China by Qing empire, and that is 內地十八省. (內地=mainland,十八=eighteen,省=province.)

Ran, you should go to consult Encyclopaedia Britannica and do some homework before you express your opinion. I don't want to bother your independent capacity to think, but you seems to try to define it by yourself without any proof to support your viewpoint.Isn't it ridiculous that a professional English encyclopedia adopt the definition of a non-native speakers of English of his own?

Er... doesn't that definition further strengthen my point? In the 18th century Taiwan was indeed a part of Fujian, which was in turn one of the 18 provinces.
In any case, I've always worked from the material that I see in the article and talk page, right in front of me, and so far, everything and everyone is telling me (including you!) that China proper = the 18 provinces. Since nobody has provided anything that could challenge that definition (save a secondary source that quotes Wei Yuan and is in itself somewhat confused about definitions anyway), I don't see how or why everyone seems to be opposed to what I'm saying.
Oh, by the way, neidi IS NOT "mainland". Nei + di literally breaks down to "inner land", or more loosely, "heartland". -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 05:17, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)
It is not heartland. Maybe we should find an american or an european who undestand chinese to tell you what it means. On the other hand, if you can read chinese papers, you will find both Taiwan and mainland China's papers often call mainland "內地"=Neidi. -- anon
Oh c'mon, let's not get ridiculous. Neidi, as a single expression, is a modern term that idiomatically refers to China excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and is relevant only to the modern political situation. Before this situation came into place, neidi must have had its literal meaning, i.e., two separate words meaning "inner land". Surely you are not going to suggest that "neidi" had the same idiomatic meaning as today back in the Qing Dynasty? It would be pretty amazing if the Qing Dynasty could predict that, in the year 2004, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau would not be under the same political structure as "neidi", but Hainan, Qingdao, and Weihai would, and thus be able to arrive at (amazingly) the same, idiomatically, specific-only-to-the-current-situation meaning for "neidi" as we do!

I am not sure whether Hong Kong or Macau is part of China proper or not like Menchi because they are too close to mainland. But I am sure Taiwan is not part of China proper because it is obviously far from Mainland.

And try not to accuse me of not being Chinese... considering your strident views expressed so far, I probably feel a lot more Chinese than you do. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 05:41, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)
Let me tell you again,China proper = the 18 provinces is the definition of 1911 edition Encyclopaedia Britannica.However Taiwan was part of Japan in 1911.
18 provinces is a very loose definition, and I can understand why you get confused. But the fact is the fact. I also suggest you study the official historical document of Qing if you can, and you will find Qing emperor always considered Taiwan as a undeveloped island.I will give you more evidence if you need it. -- anon
More evidence would be good. But once again, remember that we're trying to define the term "China proper" here. If you're going to show me evidence in Chinese, shouldn't you first tell me what the term "China proper" is in Chinese? Because if China proper does not include Taiwan, then surely, "neidi shiba xingsheng" surely isn't the correct definition. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 05:54, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

You obviously dosn't get what I mean."neidi shiba xingsheng"=mainland 18 province. Are taiwan on the mainland? Of course not. I remind you again,"China proper" is not created from nothing. The concept of "China proper" actually comes from the definition of historical heartlands of China by Qing empire.I don't mind you feel a lot more Chinese, but you cannot twist the history.Let alone Encyclopaedia Britannica has told us It does not include Taiwan.I know in the viewpoint of chinese, they claims mongolia was part of China during Yuan dynasty, althought China was merely a part of Mongol empire at that time.Isn't it ridiculous? Now let me give you another example. After the Sino-Japanese war, the minister plenipotentiary of Qing empire who signed Treaty of Shimonoseki,李鴻章,described Taiwan in this way,"the birds don't cry,and the flowers are not fragrant. It is a undeveloped land and a island of many disease.It dosn't matter Qing ceded Taiwan to Japanese."

By the way,I am not sure whether Hong Kong or Macau is part of China proper or not like Menchi because they are too close to mainland. But I am sure Taiwan is not part of China proper because it is obviously far from Mainland.

I don't know why the statement "China proper does not include Taiwan" is deleted. It is also ridiculous to compare Hong Kong or Macau with Taiwan.Take a look at the map of Hong Kong or Macau.

Most part of Hong Kong and large part of Macau are actually on the Mainland! The area of the Islands of Hong Kong or Macau is only about 10~20 square Km ,and the distance between them and mainland is only about 1~2Km.

Now take a look at the map of Taiwan. There is NO part of taiwan on the mainland and the shortest distance between it and mainland China is about 130 km. The area of Taiwan is up to 36000square Km.

Someone dosn't do homework and just guess on his own. Isn't it ridiculous that a professional English encyclopedia adopt the viewpoint of a non-native speakers of English who dosn't do homework?

I will translate neidi=hinterland. Anyone disagree?

There is another evidence.Let's see the geographic definition again.

"It is bounded N. by Mongolia, W. by Turkestan and Tibet, S.W. by Burma, S. by Tongking and the gulf of that name, S.E. by the South China Sea, E. by the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, Gulf of Chih-li and Manchuria."

It says E. by the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, Gulf of Chih-li(Bohai Sea). It dosen't say E. by Pacific ocean or Philippine Sea which is on the eastern side of Taiwan, and everyone knows that Taiwan strait is part of East China Sea or South China Sea. So it is very obvious that China proper does not include Taiwan.

Besides, after consulting many encyclopedias I gradually pick up the definition. At a later time I will show some maps and give the whole picture of the boundary.I

Uh... did you read what I said about neidi? When used in Chinese, it is used to refer to China WITHOUT Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan, meaning that it is a term specific to the current political situation. The Qing Dynasty could not have possibly had the same meaning for this term.
Also, your strange equation of "neidi = Mainland China = mainland" is ridiculous. For starters, "Mainland China" is a POLITICAL term, referring to the areas under the political control of the PRC; "mainland" with a small m is a GEOGRAPHICAL term, referring to parts of any continent. Islands like Hainan, Zhoushan, or Chongming aren't on the mainland of the continent of Asia, but they are part of Mainland China. Your weird argument that Hong Kong and Macau are part of neidi because they are GEOGRAPHICALLY a part of the Asian continent simply doesn't wash.
And finally, that definition is obviously a quote from INSIDE the article that we're trying to edit. I wouldn't exactly consider it as giving me "evidence" or "sources". -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 02:38, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC)

Now let me start to introduce the actual boundary of China proper. There is no doubt the concept of "China proper" actually comes from the concept of historical heartlands of China in Qing empire, but now I will give a clear boundary of China proper. First of all, the eighteen provinces are only a very roughly description. Let me start from Tibet and show everyone why it is only a roughly description. Here I will show two maps: (I suggest readers save it in computer and enlarge all maps by 200% )

It is a map of Qing in 1820.(map A) notice the left-lower green area of the map. It is the tibet province, North bordered by Xinjiang and Qinghai, East bordered by Sichuan province. It is a map of Historic and Cultural Tibet(map B)

If you compare this two maps, you will find the western part of Sichuan province is included in Historic and Cultural Tibet. If anyone doubts about this, let us see what 1911 edition Encyclopaedia Britannica said about it. "“TIBET, or THIBET, a country of central Asia. It is the highest country in. the world, comprising table-lands averaging over 16,500 ft. above the sea, the valleys being at 12,000 to 57,400 ft., the peaks at 20,000 to 24,600 ft., and the passes at 16,000 to 19,000 ft. It is bounded on the N. by Turkestan, on the E. by China, on. the W. by Kashmir and Ladak, and on the S. by India, Nepal and Bhutan. It has an area of over 1,000,000 sq. m., and an estimated population of about 3,000,000, being very sparsely inhabited.”"

1,000,000 sq. m.= about 2560000 square km. Tibet Autonomous Region+Qinghai=only about 2 million square km. No doubt Encyclopaedia Britannica means Historic and Cultural Tibet that include the western part of Sichuan province. If this is not enough, let us see Cambridge History of China, late Qing period(1800~1911) volumn 10. The map of "“Tibet in 19 century”"in chapter 2 is exactly the same as Historic and Cultural Tibet.

So the conclusion is: the principle of eighteen provinces dose not work here, and that is why I say it is only a very roughly description. Next, I will show you the actual north boundary of China proper.

Let me show you another map: this is also a map of Qing in 1820.(map C) (I suggest readers save it in computer and enlarge the map by 200% ) Does anyone notice the border between Gansu (purple area on the right side of Qinghai(yellow)), Shaanxi(green area on the right side of Gansu) and Mongolia? The border is exactly along the great wall of China! Let us go eastern, and we see the Shanxi province(orange area) and Zhili province (green area now Hebei). Here we find something interesting. The north part of Shanxi province and Zhili province reach beyond the great wall, and there are inner and outer two great walls in Shanxi province!

Now let us see Cambridge History of China, late Qing period(1800~1911) volumn 10. The map of"“Mongolia in 1820”"in chapter 2 shows the south border of Mongolia is exactly the great wall of China including the outer great wall in Shanxi province! As for Xinjiang, the map in this book does not draw the actual border between Xinjiang and China proper because it is short. But basically it is around the western end of great wall, Jiayu Pass. In the direction of northeast of Qing, it is Manchuria. I will give you the definition from Encyclopaedia Britannica. "”More definitely, it is bounded N. by the Amur, E. by the Usuri, S. by the Gulf of Liao-tung, the Yellow Sea and Korea, and W. by Chih-li and Mongolia.”"

Here it seems that Encyclopaedia Britannica dose not consider"“willow palisade”" as the south border with China proper, and Cambridge History of China adopts the same viewpoint as well. You can see the map of "“Manchuria in 19 century”"in chapter 7, Cambridge History of China, late Qing period(1800~1911) volumn 10.

Finally, let us talk about Taiwan. As what I said before, the eighteen provinces are only a very roughly description. On the other hand, the geographic definition of China proper is always the same, and it is especially helpful when we think about the territorial seas of China proper, which is a clear natural boundary. "It is bounded N. by Mongolia, W. by Turkestan and Tibet, S.W. by Burma, S. by Tongking and the gulf of that name, S.E. by the South China Sea, E. by the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, Gulf of Chih-li (Bohai Sea) and Manchuria."

If Taiwan were part of China proper, it would say"“S. by Tongking and the gulf of that name, S.E. by the South China Sea, E. by the Philippine Sea, East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, Gulf of Chih-li.”"Obviously it does not say E. by the Philippine Sea.

If this is not enough, again let us see Cambridge History of China, late Qing period(1800~1911) volumn 11.In chapter 2, on the subject of "“the invasion and expansion of great powers toward the vassals and frontiers”of China", Cambridge History of China lists Ryukyu islands(Okinawa), TAIWAN, Korea, Manchuria, Xinjiang, Vietnam and Tibet(sorry after checking it again Tibet is not listed. that is my fault). Through this we can make sure China proper does not include Taiwan.

I know history well,especially Chinese history. My intuition tells me this is wrong when someone says Taiwan is included. But I don't know how to express at first. However,later I decided that I have to teach some cheaters a lesson.

What else do you wan to say,Ran? Do you ever do any homework? NO. And who want to twist the history?Ran.


Previously, I put in an paragraph to neutralize the claim "retrocession" of Taiwan which is an POV. I did not touch the orignal text to keep the original author's content intact. I agree that paragraph about sovereignty was a bit awkward there. I am fine with it if you that part was taken away. But since half of the article was about Taiwan, I thought the paragraph with a bit flavor of international law on the topic of sovereignty was not too off. And this would neutralize the POV "retrocession". However, if that paragraph is taken away, then I believe the POV , retrocession, has to go. Either way is fine with me. Both stay, or both go. :)Mababa 01:17, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I don't think China proper is used to justify separatism, but it is a fact. There also exsisted "Germany proper" before. GERMANY (Ger. Deutschland), or, more properly, THE GERMAN EMPIRE (Deutsclzes Reich), a country of central Europe. The territories occupied by peoples of distinctively Teutonic race and language are commonly designated as German, and in this sense may be taken to include, besides Germany proper (the subject of the present article), the German-speaking sections of Austria, Switzerland and Holland.

As for Taiwan, It is hardly to say the entire land is part of Qing ,the manchu empire.Let's see The Mutan Village Incident in 1874.

For the declared purpose of resolving the long-standing problem of Taiwan aboriginal attacks upon Japanese seamen stranded in Taiwan territorial waters, in May of 1874, Japan sent a contingent of 3600 soldiers to Taiwan under the command of army Lt. Gen. Saigo Tsugumichi. Following the punitive expedition against the aborigines, the Japanese established friendly relationships with them, presenting them with Japanese ceremonial banners and seals for use in subsequent official communications. Japan’s pretext for sending this Japanese expeditionary force was as follows: First, in December 1871, a Miyako Island boat sailing from Naha encountered a storm at sea on its return voyage. It was cast onto the southeastern coast of Taiwan near Payao Bay. Of the 66 crewmen who were so fortunate as to land there, 54 were killed by aborigines from Kaoshihfo and Mutan villages. Subsequently, in March of 1873, while on a trading voyage four seamen including ship’s captain Sato Rihachi from Oda Prefecture (present-day Okayama Prefecture) were also blown by a storm to the vicinity of Mawuku in eastern Taiwan, where aborigines made off with their clothing. Although the Japanese authorities at first sought to resolve this problem through diplomatic channels, nevertheless, as in earlier instances of European and American ships stranded in Taiwan, the Qing authorities continued to deny responsibility, based on the principle that “those are uncivilized people on the outer fringes of civilization.” Consequently, under the premise that “the Qing Empire is unable to deal with this sort of affair,” Japan sent troops to Taiwan for punitive action against the island’s aborigines.

We notice that "the Qing authorities continued to deny responsibility, based on the principle that “those are uncivilized people on the outer fringes of civilization.”", which means it didn't think this place as part of it. Besides, if you see many maps of that time in foreign countries, you will see the actual territory of Qing on Taiwan is only west part of the island near the western coast, not the entire land.Thus it is not correct when some chinese claim that the entire land of Taiwan was part of Qing. We remember that chinese often distort history by overthrowing What their ancient official books said to justify their political claim, but anyone who familiar with history just won't buy it.

Nice paragraph. Thanks for sharing with us!!Mababa 09:16, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Mongolia and Taiwan


Your recently-inserted point of view that "Mongolia should be in China Proper more than Taiwan" does not fit either of the definitions of China Proper that were given in the Taiwan section. The two definitions were:

  1. That China Proper = the traditional area of Han Chinese dynasties. That would include neither Mongolia nor Taiwan.
  2. That China Proper = 18 provinces. That would include Taiwan, or the western parts of Taiwan, or partially the western parts of Taiwan, but it would definitely not include Mongolia.

To insert your point of view, you will need to give a third, supported definition of "China Proper", different from both of the above, that would include Mongolia but not Taiwan.

-- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 03:13, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your response. Yes, after I read the long thread, I finally realized that the idea of China proper defined here was not based on how long one territory was administrated by China but based on either the territory of Han or the 18 province divisions of Qing. It never came to me that 18 province to be the base of the China Proper, and I really have to say it is awkward to see that. Incuding a savage land to the Qing-China proper is certainly weird, just like you would not pile up garbages into your own garage. I will see what can I find to support my story. Thanks for your suggestion.Mababa 03:38, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

After I have done a bit of research on internet, I realized that China proper is really a changing idea differeing from dynasty to dynasty based on the context of the articles. There are also definition based on how populated the area and makes the most populated eastern area counted as China proper. Restricting to only the two definition here is really not reflecting the perception in the real world. Furthermore, the idea China proper varies with time. Since Qing cessioned Taiwan to Japan before the dynasty demised, I would argue that Taiwan ceased to be part of the 18 province defined here. If one really look at the artcles about late Qing and early Republic, one would learn that the China proper(a.k.a. 18 provinces) really does not include Taiwan which was part of Japan Proper at that time.

当时革命家们的策略有“上下两策”,上策是革命政府收复满清政府的全部领土;下策是革命政府收复中原十八个汉族人省份的主权,把满蒙疆藏“出卖”给列强,以换取他们对革命的支持。以前清政府只准许汉族在十八个内地省份居住,这十八个省是直隶(河北)、河南、山东、山西、湖南、湖北、广东、广西、浙江、安徽、江苏、江西、福建、四川、陕西、甘肃、贵州和云南,关外的满洲(东三省)、西藏(青海)、蒙古(内外蒙)、新疆是不允许汉族随便迁入居住的。当时革命党人的“野心”并不大,“驱逐鞑虏、恢复中华”的直接目的就是在十八个内地汉族人省份中恢复汉人的主权,革命只要恢复了内地十八省的汉人主权就是成功,西藏(青海)、蒙古(内外蒙)、新疆和满洲(东三省)的主权都可以放弃。宣统三年武昌起义时,起义军打出的革命军旗是“十八星旗”,这“十八颗星”就是代表内地十八个汉族人居住的省份,后来也有人称其为大汉族主义的旗帜。 [1]

Thus, arguing Taiwan to be part of China proper based on an obsolete definition of 18 provinces is really anachronistic. The early revolutionists (Mao, Sun) on China has already recognized that Taiwan was not part of the China proper(a.k.a. 18 provinces) and actively proposed Taiwan independent from Japan. Why the modern people failed to recognize that??!!Mababa 04:07, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Topic aside, thanks for the link. Highly interesting read, it was. :)

I agree that the current article seems a bit contrived, in order to bring together a lot of different views and apparent contradictions. One of these days I might rewrite it again. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 04:28, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

There is another different view point on the idea of China Proper

According to a recent paper by Professor Wachman of Tufts University, the CCP excluded Taiwan from maps, colored Taiwan out of postage stamps and made references to Taiwan only in association with "other Asian peoples who may be rallied in the fight against the Japanese". The ROC's control over Tibet and Outer Mongolia was lost after 1911, yet these areas were still considered part of China proper and were reflected as such in maps and rhetoric - Taiwan was not. [2]Mababa 06:56, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The arguments that you inserted are still arguments that Taiwan is not a part of China, not that Taiwan is not a part of China proper. This is an article on China proper, not China. Please put those into political status of Taiwan. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 00:55, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)

I've moved your Japan image into political status of Taiwan. Also, I've thought over this again, and I think that the entire section is misguided. There is no separate dispute over whether Taiwan is a part of China proper or not. Instead, the dispute is on whether Taiwan is a part of China. And the two camps think this way:

  1. Taiwan is a part of China. So is Tibet, Xinjiang, etc. There is no such thing as "China proper".
  2. China proper is the part of China that China properly should have. Therefore Tibet, Taiwan etc. aren't a part of it.

If you already support the concept of "China proper", you're not going to argue that "Taiwan is a part of it and Tibet is not". It's theoretically possible for you do to that, but in reality, few people would. Either you think Taiwan is a part of China (proper or not), or you think that Taiwan isn't a part of China (proper or not).

So the dispute should be at political status of Taiwan, not here. I've rewritten the paragraph to reflect that. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 01:12, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)

I am pretty sure the material I inserted in is a clear argument: Taiwan ceased to be part of China proper.

What I believe is that the idea China Proper is such a volatile concept which changes from time to time. Using the definition of the 18 provinces to bring Taiwan into China proper is problematic itselves, since the definition of the 18 provinces has already changed as time moved forward. At the end Qing dynasty, Taiwan was out of the definition of 18 provinces already.

I have no objection to put Taiwan to be part of 18-provinces or China proper during the Qing Dynasty. I actually put a map on to the article!!! However, a new concept of 18-provinces or China proper already emerged at the end of the Qing dynasty which retained most of the area except Taiwan.

As the article pointed out at the begining:

as it implies that some of China's territory is not as "proper", 
which can be used to justify separatism, a highly reviled concept.

It would be misleading to use the obsolete definition at certain point but neglecting the new development. Insisting on the definition at the eary Qing dynasty and hiding the new public perception in the republic era after the Qing dynasty would make readers wonder if we intentionally made it as a political propaganda. You have removed the part discussing the new definition of the 18 provinces. I do not think it is fare to the Taiwanese or to the general public readers.Mababa 01:28, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

What did I hide? The "extent" section still describes how vague the concept is; The "Taiwan" section still describes different points of view. The article does not endorse any one definition. And anything more detailed about Taiwan specifically should rightly belong to political status of Taiwan.

The reason why I removed the entire dispute is because I think it was basically manufactured as a result of an earlier dispute between me and an anon. (See above) There is no such dispute out there in the general world. Either people think that China = everything and that "China proper" = China, or they think that China = China proper + colonies which should be independent (like Taiwan). There is no separate dispute about whether "Taiwan should be a part of China proper" or whether "Taiwan is part of the 18 provinces" outside of us few people in Wikipedia.

Also, how about this: I'll make the "eighteen provinces" a "guideline" rather than a "definition" for China proper. No one is seriously going to rigidly 僵硬地 教條主義地 define "China proper" as strictly the 18 provinces anyways. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 01:33, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)

I have just read the new article and everything looked quite neutral. I have to say that you did a good jub. Bravo!!

Thanks. :)

I believe the topic of China Proper really should be isolated from the current political debate. Since the concept of China Proper was also used to justify separatism or non-separatism, which makes the definition inevitabley political, I would like to propose to include the change of defintion during the republic. In this way, the article would be really reflecting what the contemporary people used to think, instead of something being manipulated or scewed by political groups. And China Proper would be kept as an article about pure and clean history. How about this?? :) The political status of Taiwan should be resolved only on the interpretation of international law and has nothing to do with the idea, China proper.Mababa 01:53, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, but the very concept of "China Proper", including its very validity, is a political debate, so it's really hard to make it an article about pure and clean history... in the end it can only talk about different people's views and so forth. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 02:03, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)
Also, I really think that the material you put in about the change of definition should belong in political status of Taiwan, because it is about whether Taiwan is a part of China. I apologize for deleting what was evidently quite a lot of work... :( and I strongly encourage you to put what you have into political status of Taiwan. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 02:08, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)

I strongly but respectfully disagree with you about the way you plan to treat the progression of the definition. I agree that it delt with the question about whether Taiwan is a part of China. But the core of it was about the idea of China Proper!! And we should not left this part of the history specifically about China Proper being left out!! I would consider to put it into the political status of Taiwan. On the other hand, I strongly encourage you to put them back to China Proper.Mababa 02:17, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've made some changes. What do you think? -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 02:35, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)

Nice work! I really appreciate your effort. It looks great here. I hope you won't mind if I come back sometime later and make things even more palatable to me and then you can make other changes to bring it back to an angle you prefer. You might have known what I want to put in already.

Out of curiosity: Do you think China Proper as a political topic? If you think so, then you arguement that the definition progression paragraph should be moved to political status of Taiwan won't hold and we should equally treaty different political opinions here. However, if you do not think so, then puting the definition progression paragraph here would be merely treating historical material and there should be no problem at all. I see your effort and I am sure that you want to impartially treat the article. I am sure that we can reach a neutral point on this topic. (Let's pray for it.)

One more thing. I realized that you say one of the photos I uploaded to be copyrighted. I wonder what should I have provided? Or how can this be determined? The map seemed to be old already. Perhaps you can redirect me to one of the pages on this topic.Mababa 02:52, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, the Asia Times photo is copyrighted for sure -- check their website, they state it under their policy.

The 1875 map might be copyrighted too, since it seems to be a promotional picture for a company. (You might want to check Wikipedia:Copyrights.) Which is a pity, because I like that map. :D

And yes, I think China Proper is a controversial topic, and I guess you can call that "political". But the controversy is not "what China proper includes", it is "whether China proper exists". One side says "no, the Proper China is Greater China which includes Taiwan", while the other side says "yes, it includes only the parts China has always had, and all the other parts like Tibet, Taiwan etc. are just colonies". I don't think people then go on to dispute about whether Taiwan is a part of China proper.

This is the great thing about NPOV.... under any other circumstances (say a political forum), we'd be bashing each other's heads in already. :D Let's continue working on this and make this as NPOV as we can. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 04:05, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)

Surely China Proper does exist because it was firstly used in europe in 17th century and never changed.If you say China Proper is Greater China which may also include singapore, it is just the viewpoint of some chinese like Ran who has poor knowledge about history and desperately tries to twist it.

It looks like I've done what you've always wanted to do: put Taiwan into the first paragraph. ;) (With NPOV rephrasing, of course.)

Btw, Mababa, do you go on the Chinese Wikipedia? It has somewhat of a Mainland bias and really really needs Taiwanese contributors. -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 04:34, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)

I almost burst into tears. I am speechless and so moved. You have made my day. Thank you Ran. I think the current article is neutral and fair. This is the article for China Proper, not Taiwan proper. If I ask more, I would be the one fussing. Thank you again for your work and also your invitation for Chinese Wiki. However, coming to English Wiki is already a luxury for me. Iam not sure if I can afford more time to participate there now. Maybe some time later. :) It was a pleasure working with you on this topic and find us agreeing with each other. I wish you have a nice thanksgiving day. ;) Mababa 00:18, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thank you for your kind words, Mababa. After several fruitless disputes I've had in the past I'm happy to have gotten some of the knack of NPOV writing. And a great Thanksgiving day to you too ;) -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 05:21, Nov 26, 2004 (UTC)

China Proper is not a controversial topic at all. This is the same case with Germany proper. As what I have shown ,Germany proper was not a controversial topic at all although German empire still took possesion of those non-Germany proper territories at that time. Those non-Germany proper area was indeed under extensively germanization in 19th century, but that didn't make "Germany proper" disappear nither. Today "Germany proper" is hardly used and almost disappears because nowadays Germany does not has any territory outside Germany proper. Yes,maybe one day China proper will disappear as you wish, Ran.--anon

Does anyone find in the map "The Eighteen Provinces of China proper in 1875" Gansu province in the northwest also embraced large chunk(probably even the entire land) of Xinjiang? It is a little bit strange.I think We need a more detailed map.


China proper includes Liaoning but excludes Ningxia? That's not the extent of the original 18 provinces. Ningxia was a part of Gansu during the Qing Dynasty. -- ran (talk) 21:32, 4 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When different people say "China proper" (if they do at all), they mean different things. The problem with the current map is that it mixes up two different definitions of China proper into one map.

There's a historical definition of China proper, which is based on the eighteen administrative provinces of China proper that existed during the Qing (Manchu) dynasty. This China proper does not include Manchuria, Mongolia (Inner + Outer), Xinjiang, and Tibet. Nor does it include Taiwan, after Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895 (before 1895, it did). The eighteen provinces were the focus of early Chinese revolutionaries who sought to establish an independent state free of Manchu rule. But these eighteen provinces do include the entirely of Sichuan province (including the northwestern, Tibetan part), because that was already a part of Sichuan at a time. It should also include the area around Xining, Qinghai, because that was a part of Gansu at a time. It should not include the northern part of modern Hebei province, because modern Hebei now extends outside the Great Wall.

There's also an ethnic definition of China proper, based on the areas inhabited by Han Chinese. By this definition, northwestern Sichuan is indeed properly excluded, but the southwestern part of Gansu province and the northwestern part of Yunnan province are also ethnic Tibetan areas claimed by Tibetan exiles as a part of Tibet rather than China Proper. In fact, much of southwestern China, including large swathes of Guizhou, Guangxi, and Yunnan provinces, are not Han Chinese. In contrast Manchuria should be included, as should much of Inner Mongolia.

In short, the map appears to follow the historical definition of China more or less, except at the Sichuan-Tibet border, where it follows the ethnic definition instead, but not at the Gansu-Tibet border or the Yunnan-Tibet border. At the Hebei-Inner Mongolia border it follows neither historical nor ethnic definition, but instead the modern provincial boundary, which doesn't have either historical or ethnic basis.

In summary, the map as it stands right now is not really "NPOV", but it's POV in a peculiar way in that it seems to mix up several POV's together, and appeases none of them. I apologize for being nitpicky here, pointing out things that are just a few pixels either way, but this being such a sensitive topic, I'm sure that other nitpickers will come after me and they will spot more things.

As for the solution: I propose that this map be split into two:

  1. One will be modified from the present map, to represent the 18 provinces of China Proper during Qing China.
  2. The other will represent the present-day distribution of Han Chinese in China.

-- ran (talk) 01:03, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your detailed reply. I'll try to make these maps ASAP. As for now, I'll put some clarification on the map description. As for the ethnic definition of China proper, the distribution in which era should be use. There have been huge migrations of Han Chinese into historical Tibet region, and large scale "disappearance" of Tibetans. I suggest we use a pre-1960 distribution. deeptrivia (talk) 04:15, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't really want to get into a big debate here, but:

  1. Since 1949, the region whose demographics has really shifted in favour of the Han Chinese is Xinjiang, not Tibet: according to official stats, the proportion of Han Chinese in Xinjiang has risen from under 10% to over 40% in these past few decades;
  2. Han Chinese migration into Tibet has altered the demographics of a few key cities (e.g. Lhasa, Nyingtri) and a few regions (e.g. the Chaidam Basin), but the vast majority of the land area of the Tibetan plateau remains non-Han Chinese;
  3. The majority of Tibetan loss of life happened during the Great Leap Forward, which killed 20 - 40 million people nationwide, the vast majority of which was Han Chinese;
  4. How would you find reliable data on 1960 demographics in any case?

In short, the 1960 date will precede demographics changes in Tibet, but it does not account for similar changes (namely, swamping by Han Chinese) that had already started in Xinjiang (from early 1950's on) or Inner Mongolia and Manchuria (from 19th century on) or, say, Taiwan (17th century on). Moreover, the demographic changes that have occurred in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria and Taiwan have all been (to date) far more drastic than what has happened in Tibet. So I don't think we should be selecting a date just so that we can sidestep demographic changes in one region, even though such data would poorly reflect demographic flux in other regions and would be hard to obtain in any case.

So I think it would be fine to use present-day distributions for the second map. If you worry that it will make Tibet look Han Chinese -- by and large it will not. The Chaidam Basin will look Han Chinese, and so might a few spots (Nyingtri, Lhasa), but the vast majority of land will be ethnic Tibetan.

-- ran (talk) 15:17, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Very valid practical points, which I had overlooked. Great work with adding more maps. Regarding Sichuan, the western parts of it belonged to the Amdo province, which has traditionally been a part of Tibet. The dashed lines I have drawn through the province roughly correspond to the borders of Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which make up most of western Sichuan. deeptrivia (talk) 20:27, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, but what I'm saying is that the area (Aba + Garzê) was also a part of Sichuan province during the Qing Dynasty. The area was partitioned by the Emperor Yongzheng in 1724 among Lhasa, Sichuan and Yunnan, according to this article from the Japanese Wikipedia, resulting in the tripartite division of Kham that has lasted since. -- ran (talk) 21:04, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gah!! This article is becoming a serious mess. So what I'm thinking about, is that instead of having the current sections of "extent", "term in Chinese", and "Taiwan", all of which are increasingly repetitive of each other, we can have two separate sections corresponding to the historically-based and culturally-based concepts of China Proper, respectively. (And perhaps a third section, for "China Proper = China", or even "China Proper > China" for those irredentists that want Mongolia back.) This way the maps would have somewhere to go as well instead of being stacked on top of each other with little explanation.

-- ran (talk) 22:11, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Remove term

Indeed, the historical evolution of China from a historical core to a later, larger entity is an indisputable fact.

It's hardly indisputable.

Roadrunner 22:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ermm... well. The PRC is certainly larger than Tang China which is certainly larger than Qin China which is certainly larger than Shang China. It's not like China assumed the borders of the ROC, Mongolia and Tuva and all, since the days of Shennong and Huangdi. -- ran (talk) 00:17, 7 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use of "China proper" in the article

After reading the second paragraph, the start of the third seems completely out of place. It's using the term "China proper" itelf, which was deemed controvertial before; furthermore, the same paragraph states that the term is considered offensive by some. It sounds pretty much like "The use of the term 'Gypsy' is controvertial as some Gypsies consider it pejorative"; this would be obviously inappropriate for an encyclopedia. I'd like to reword the sentence, but I don't know how to; only deleting the word "proper" wouldn't work.--cloviz 01:43, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think there is anyway around it and the word Gypsy is not a good analogy. "China proper" is a widely used term for the core provinces of China. I know that this article states that some people consider the use of the term China proper "controversial" or "offensive", but it doesn't say who finds it controversial, which makes me think that this a clear case of a Weasel word. The word "proper" has nothing to do whether whether the territory of China is "proper" or not, instead it refers to the core of China as distinct to its perifery. For instance, in Finland there is a region called Finland Proper - no one is disputing that the rest of the country belongs to Finland. Likewise, people talk about Lesser Poland proper, France proper, England proper, London proper, etc.--Niohe 02:00, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Finland proper is an official region; "London proper" or "France proper" are not defined terms, they are just pairs of words that come handy in some situations and that's why we don't have articles for them. The use of "China proper" is more relevant because it's controvertial and even hard to manage. You should note that many citizens of the PRC disregard historical or anthropological matters on defining their country under the name "China", which they believe to be bound to their current state. Therefore, using the term "China proper" as an accepted word suggests a POV on the issue. I think your last changes improved the neutrality of the article.--cloviz 03:17, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]