The question of whether it should be a capital or small “M” for Mainland China keeps coming up. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any clear consensus with different sources preferring one to the other.

Tricky one this as, strictly speaking, “mainland” is not part of the country’s official name and wouldn’t be considered a proper noun. The use of “mainland” is merely used to distinguish the main part of China from the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Having said that, the problem is that we aren’t just talking about any old mainland here – it’s a pretty large area of land and Hong Kong’s territory includes some of the mainland but is not “Mainland China”. Therefore, many would argue that, although not part of the country’s official name, adding “Mainland” with a capital “M” makes it clear that it is a specific geographical region and not any part of mainland Hong Kong.

Incidentally, some people also capitalise the “M” when using the “Mainland” as a standalone word when referring to Mainland China. The preposition also changes from the usual “on” the mainland to “in” the Mainland.

So, it’s your choice. Whichever you do end up choosing, just ensure you are at least being consistent throughout your writing.

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