Mainland matter of linguistics

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 September, 1997, 12:00am

Regarding Professor Woo Chia-wei's insistence on the term 'Chinese mainland' instead of 'mainland China' ('Mainland China' term gives rise to academic angst, South China Morning Post, September 16) since the latter implies the existence of more than one China, I have no political axe to grind, only a linguistic one.

The term 'mainland China' does not imply what Professor Woo claims it does, any more than 'peninsular Malaysia' or 'East Malaysia' implies there is more than one Malaysia, or 'continental United States' that there is more than one USA.

I think what Professor Woo probably meant was that the term 'mainland China' has certain connotations for some people. If so, it is a matter best left to individual taste.

TONY HUNG New Territories