Housing and Development Board
The Housing & Development Board is the statutory board of the Ministry of National Development responsible for public housing in Singapore. It is credited with clearing the squatters and slums of the 1960s and resettling residents into low-cost state-built housing. Today, as many as 82% of Singaporeans live in public housing provided by the HDB. Shortly after achieving self-governance in 1959, Singapore faced a serious problem of housing shortages. In 1947, the British Housing Committee Report noted Singapore had "one of the world’s worst slums --'a disgrace to a civilised community'", the average person-per-building density was 18.2 by 1947. High-rise buildings were rare. In 1959, the shortage problem remained. An HDB paper estimated that in 1966, 300,000 people lived in squatter settlements in the suburbs and 250,000 lived in squalid shophouses in the Central Area. In its election campaign in 1959, the People's Action Party recognized that housing required urgent attention and pledged to provide low-cost housing for the poor if it was elected.
When it won the elections and formed the newly elected government, it took immediate action to solve the housing shortage. The government passed the Housing & Development Act of 1960, which replaced the existing Singapore Improvement Trust with the Housing & Development Board. Led by Lim Kim San, the HDB made first priority during formation to build as many low-cost housing units as possible, introduced the Five-Year Plan; the housing, built was meant for rental by the low-income group. The Home Ownership for the People Scheme was introduced to help this group of people to buy instead of rent their flats. While the new scheme acted as a hedge against inflation, it provided financial security to homeowners; the people were allowed to use their Central Provident Fund money for down payments. These efforts were, not successful enough in convincing the people living in the squatter settlements to move into these flats, it was only after the Bukit Ho Swee Fire in 1961, that the HDB's efficiency and earnestness won the people over.
The HDB estimated that from 1960 to 1969, an average of 147,000 housing units—80,000 from the current deficit, 20,000 due to the redevelopment of the Central Area, 47,000 due to population increase—would need to be constructed, or an average of about 14,000 a year. However, the private sector only had the ability to provide 2,500 per year, at price levels out of reach of the low-income population; as many as 51,031 housing units were built between 1960 and 1965 by the HDB. Due to land constraints, high-rise and high-density flats were chosen; the HDB's policies were in line with the manifesto set out by the Singaporean government: the government was promoting social cohesion and patriotism within the country. In 1968, citizens were allowed to use their pension fund to purchase and own the homes they were renting to give them a stake of the country and as an incentive to work hard. In 1989, the Ethnic Integration Policy was introduced to promote racial integration. To prevent social stratification that may lead to social conflict, the housing of different income groups is mixed together in estates and new towns.
In the 1990s, the HDB concentrated on upgrading existing older flats, installing new facilities such as lifts that stop on every floor. Studio apartments were specially built to suit the needs of senior citizens in Singapore's ageing society. On 1 July 2003, the Building & Development Division of HDB was corporatised to form HDB Corporation Pte. Ltd.. HDBCorp was renamed Surbana Corporation Pte. Ltd. HDB's headquarters were moved from Bukit Merah to its new premises at the HDB Hub at 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh on 10 June 2002; the existing Bukit Merah premises, known as Surbana One, became the headquarters for Surbana Corporation Pte. Ltd. HDB employees are organised under HDB Staff Union; the union is an affiliate of the National Trades Union Congress. Public housing in Singapore Public housing precincts in Singapore New towns of Singapore Cash-Over-Valuation Executive Condominium Housing and Urban Development Company flats HLM Official website
Boon Lay, is a neighbourhood located in the town of Jurong West in the West Region of Singapore. Its borders roughly correspond to the URA subzone of Boon Lay Place, situated within the Jurong West Planning Area; the subzone was named after Chew Boon Lay, a prominent businessman in the late 19th century and early 20th century who owned the land where the precinct stands. When a requisition of 1.012 km² of land from his estate was done by the war department of the colonial government of Singapore, it led to the growth of Boon Lay Village in the 1940s, with a population of about 420 in the early 1960s. Boon Lay Place had earthworks begun in 1969 and had their HDB flats built since 1974; the subzone is a division of West Coast GRC, under the management of West Coast Town Council. The people living there are represented by member of Patrick Tay; the only private estate in the precinct is'Summerdale', while the rest consists of estates built by the government. Those in italic are HDB's Built-To-Order flats which are under construction.
The main roads in the precinct are Jalan Boon Lay, Boon Lay Way, Corporation Road and Jurong West Avenue 2, which bounds the precinct and connects it to the rest of the island through linking with the PIE, with minor roads winding through the various estates in the precinct. The precinct is situated between Boon Lakeside stations. Connection to both stations is available through feeder bus services 240 and 246 and trunk bus services 30, 154, 157 and 180, depending on direction of travel. Connection to Nanyang, Gek Poh Ville, Hong Kah, Joo Koon and Clementi is available through trunk bus service 99. Connection to Pioneer, Hong Kah, Yuhua, NUH, One-North, Buona Vista, Tanglin Halt and Bukit Merah is available through trunk bus service 198. Connection to Pioneer, Bukit Batok, Bukit Timah, Holland Village and the city is available through trunk bus service 174. Direct connection to the city is available through express bus service 502. There are 2 night bus services that run through the precinct during the non-operational hours of the other bus and MRT services, with NR5 operated by SMRT and 5N operated by SBS Transit.
In addition to local buses, Malaysian Inter-State Express Buses start off from the former Savoy cinema to specific destinations in Malaysia as an alternative to the bus terminals located downtown such as those at Kallang Bahru Bus Terminal and Golden Mile Shopping Centre. Tickets can be bought from ticket agents at Boon Lay Shopping Centre. There is 1 primary school, 1 secondary school, 1 high school and many childcare centres in the precinct; the town centre is located at Boon Lay Place and is where the residents of Boon Lay bond with each other while meeting their daily needs. It is accessible from all parts of the precinct through feeder bus service 240 and 246 and trunk bus service 99. There are 2 churches and 1 temple in the precinct and all of them are found in the town centre. There is a Boon Lay Hawker at the town centre; the precinct's community centre is located at the junction of Boon Lay Place and Boon Lay Avenue, as part of the town centre. It was upgraded from 2010 to 2011. Managed by HDB, this is the shopping centre that caters to the residents of Boon Lay Place.
An anchor tenant in this shopping centre is'NTUC Fairprice'. The shopping centre has been upgraded with new facilities likes elevators and escalators since late 2012. Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh, Toponymics – A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1 Ong Chwee Im. Chew Boon Lay: A Family Traces its History. Singapore: The Compiler. ISBN 981-04-7740-6 West Coast Town Council Boon Lay Place @ sg.pagenation.com URA – Planning Area Boundaries @ ura.gov.sg NEA – List of Government Markets / Hawker Centres @ nea.gov.sg SBS Transit- Upgrading of Boon Lay Bus Interchange Boon Lay Constituency Website
Chinese Garden, Singapore
Chinese Garden, is a park in Jurong East, Singapore. Built in 1975 by the JTC Corporation and designed by Prof. Yuen-chen Yu, an architect from Taiwan, the Chinese Garden’s concept is based on Chinese gardening art; the main characteristic is the integration of architectural features with the natural environment. The Chinese Garden is modeled along the northern Chinese imperial style of architecture and landscaping, it is located next to Chinese Garden MRT Station and connected to the adjacent Japanese Garden by a bridge. Along with Japanese Garden, the two gardens are collectively known as the Jurong Gardens. A pair of cloudy-grained marble stone lions at the main gates of the Chinese Garden, guarding the main gates of the Garden; the marble stone used to sculpt the lions were imported from Taiwan. In the art of Chinese gardens, bridges play a critical role and the most important structures may denote the character; the Bái hóngqiáo at the Garden follows the style of the Seventeen-Arch Bridge at the Summer Palace in Peking.
It is a typical Chinese arch building. The magnificent and grandiose form has made it popular for picture-taking. Inside the main arch building, there are two courtyards, namely the “Early Spring Courtyard” and “Garden Courtyard”. There is a fishpond in the centre, named the “Fishes Paradise”. A famous traditional feature of Chinese architecture is the Stone Boat structure, its unique design and splendid architectural beauty is a fine art which has long been praised by people throughout the world. The style of Yao-Yueh Fang in the Chinese Garden is based on the Peking style, but with some adaptations in the design and usage of materials; the Ming Hsiang Hsieh is a miniature structure following the style of the elaborate, winding gallery at the Summer Palace. This meandering design is a graceful Chinese architectural feature. In ancient times, the pagoda a simple tower located beside a temple, was used for the keeping of human bones by Buddhists. With improvements in architectural skills, incorporated with the traditional art of building, the pagoda was developed into a structure of striking architectural beauty.
The Ru Yun T’a is situated on a small hill in the Chinese Garden. Its typical pagoda design follows the style of Linggu Temple Pagoda at Nanjing; the Chinese Pavilion and Tower represent the soul of the Chinese gardening art. The artistic features, typical of Chinese architecture have long been appreciated by man; the arrangement of these structures is important and one of the essential rules of the structural arrangement is that the position of each structure must be balanced by its height and size. Further, the building must be linked with plants, rocks, a winding stream and footpaths so as to create a poetic scene; the design of the four pavilions at the Chinese Garden is based on the style of Northern Chinese Pavilions, decorated to blend harmoniously with the Garden. Opened in June 1992, the Suzhou-style Bonsai Garden cost an estimate $3.8 million to build. This 5,800-square-metre garden with Suzhou-style buildings and landscape houses a collection of over 2,000 bonsais imported from China and other parts of the world.
The Bonsai Garden has since taken on a new look. Newly revitalised, after spending an estimate of another $500,000 - the Bonsai Garden is a beauty that must be seen to be believed, it is designed as a largest Suzhou-style Bonsai garden of its kind outside of China. A Bonsai Training Centre has been launched; the public are encouraged to sign up for the course, which will be taught by our resident Bonsai experts from Shanghai and Suzhou. They will teach on how to prune and care for Bonsais and how to appreciate the beauty of this unique artistry; the newest addition to the Chinese Garden family is the Garden of Abundance. The original name of this garden is the Zodiac & Pomegranate Garden, derived from the elements used for the construction of the garden, it consists of pomegranate trees, the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals sculpture, a sundial, stone bridges and planting of materials, which have meanings of longevity and fulfilment. Hence the name Garden of Abundance was selected. 100-year-old pomegranate trees from Shantung, China have been planted into this new garden.
It sits among the 12 Chinese Zodiac Animal sculptures. This creative concept of Chinese Garden is a new scenic spot designed according to Chinese tradition and folk culture, and most the theme and design of this garden bestows sincere wishes dedicated to the visitor. The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum tortoises. A highlight of the museum is it exhibits exotic types of tortoises, such as tortoises with 2 heads and 6 legs - where only one in every few million of these rare specimen will survive; this entrance was specially constructed in conjunction with the Chinese Garden MRT station, to ensure easy access for pedestrians visiting the gardens. Upon approaching the garden, there is a Red Bridge; this Red Bridge is an auspicious colour for the Chinese. Four stone lions, welcoming the visitors before entering the garden guard the entrance. JTC Corporation is planning a year-long "redecoration and refurbishment" project starting at the end of 2014; the areas to be repaired include the main entrance plaza, the pavilions, the iconic pagodas, the Stone Boat and footpaths.
The repair works become infested by termites. These include patching up spalling concrete and cracked walls, replacing broken and loose roof tiles, stopping water leakage, as well as re
Jurong Lake is a 70ha freshwater lake and reservoir located in the western region of Singapore formed with the damming of Sungei Jurong further downstream. The lake serves as a reservoir contributing to the water supply of the country, it lies next to the Lakeside MRT Station. The lake is surrounded by parkland, which serves as a recreational ground for nearby residents in Jurong East and Jurong West New Towns. A landscaped sanctuary called Jurong Lake Park was built around the perimeter of the lake and work was completed in January 2006. A 2.8 kilometre water promenade along Jurong Lake Park would allow residents to participate in watersports. The inner running track starting from Chinese garden bridge and back is 3.4 kilometers in length. As is the case for most other reservoirs in Singapore, swimming is illegal in the lake, although this may change in line with the Singapore government's liberalisation of the use of bodies of water in the republic. Fishing is now allowed in some designated spots around the lake where only artificial baits can be used for fishing.
However, the water is noted to be green in colour during dry weather and a murky brown after a downpour, the result of runoff from its urban catchment area. There are several tourist attractions located near or within the Lake, including a Chinese Garden and a Japanese Garden, which are located on their respective islands within the lake, as well as the nearby Tang Dynasty Village, which has since closed down; the Science Centre, Singapore, a family-oriented attraction in Jurong East, is located in the area, together with Jurong Country Club, which includes an 18-hole par-72 golf course and driving range. On 4 April 2008, the National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan announced a plan to develop the Jurong into a commercial hub outside the Central Business District; the new Jurong Lake District will offer a potential development area of 360 hectares the size of Marina Bay. The Urban Redevelopment Authority said that some 750,000m2 of land will be set aside at Jurong Gateway, expected to attract billions of dollars in development, for offices, hotels and beverage and entertainment uses.
However, analysts say that the short 10–15 years time frame may be a little tight, due to the number of projects in progress and a dampened global economic climate. The Urban Redevelopment Authority announces a masterplan on 4 April 2008 to transform the area around Jurong Lake to a unique lakeside destination for business and leisure in the next 10 to 15 years. A new district will be created, Jurong Lake District which consists of three precincts, Jurong Gateway and Lakeside Gateway. New developments around Jurong Lake include: Jurong Lake Garden Central or JLG Central Jurong Lake Garden East or JLG East Jurong Lake Garden West or JLG West Enhanced public park & promenade
Jurong is a geographical region located at the south-westernmost point of the West Region of Singapore. Although vaguely defined, the region's extent covers the planning areas of Jurong East, Jurong West, Boon Lay, Pioneer, along with Jurong Island in the Western Islands cluster and the southernmost portions of the Western Water Catchment. Should it be described at its greatest historical extent, the region can include present-day Bukit Batok and Tuas as well. Jurong covers several offshore islands as well, including Pulau Damar Laut and Pulau Samulun, both of which are located within the planning areas of Jurong East and Boon Lay respectively; the coastline of the region on mainland Singapore, faces the strait of Selat Jurong, while the southernmost island of the region, Jurong Island, faces the strait of Selat Pandan. Jurong was industrialised in the early 1960s in a response to the general economic situation of post-war Singapore; the heavy redevelopment of the region paved the way for the opening of a large-scale industrial sector in the country, something, unprecedented at that time.
Today, the rapid growth and much development of Jurong has led it to become one of the most densely-populated industrial areas in the city-state. "Jurong" took its name from Sungei Jurong, a river that still channels into Jurong Lake, the latter of, created by damming the river itself. Although its origins are disputed, the core definition of "Jurong", is derived from several meanings in Malay; the term could refer to the word for shark, "Jerung". It can be derived from the word "Jurang" or a gorge. Jurong could take its name from the word, "Penjuru", which translates to, corner. Penjuru may most refer to the peninsula that sits between Sungei Jurong and Sungei Pandan; the native Malays named this peninsula, Tanjong Penjuru, which can be translated as Cape Corner in English. The present-day site of Tanjong Penjuru is now the subzone of Penjuru Crescent. Although Jurong's geography was documented on a few maps and records following Singapore's founding in 1819, the area only became clearer to the British in an 1828 geographical survey of the island by Lieutenant Philip Jackson.
In a map, drawn after the survey, the lieutenant describes most of Jurong's natural geography with the two rivers of Jurong, Sungei Jurong and Sungei Pandan, marked on the map. He noted down several islands which have since ceased to exist; such islands include, Pulau Ayer Chawan, Pulau Butun, Pulau Pese, Pulau Sakra and Pulau Saraya, all of which have since merged to form Jurong Island. Current geographical landmarks such as Pulau Damar Laut and the strait of Selat Sembilan have been included on the map; the two rivers of Jurong were mentioned again in 1848, when a second survey conducted by John Turnbull Thomson, described the original shape and settlements of Sungei Jurong and Sungei Pandan. Turnbull describes both rivers as, "large creeks" with settlements around the both. However, in the case of Sungei Jurong, Thomson gives his description as such: a large creek which divides at the top into two branches, the east one being called by the Chinese the Jurong, the west Peng Kang Before the damming of Sungei Jurong, the present-day site of Jurong Lake was once occupied by two streams that split at the junction of the river.
These two streams have since ceased to exist. However, like what Thomson said, these bodies of water marked the present day locations of Jurong East and West, at that time identified as Jurong and Peng Kang on colonial era maps respectively. Before its development in the 1960s, Jurong was left close to its pristine state after Singapore's founding in 1819. Although there were a few settlements around Jurong, most of the land was uncharted territory. Swamps dominated the coastline of Jurong, yielding large amounts of wildlife such as mudskippers and horseshoe crabs. A forest reserve of dipterocarp trees would have once stood inland behind the grove of rhizophora trees along the coast. Low hills were the highest elevated points around Jurong, although most of them were levelled over the years; this was evident, given the description made by Commodore Perry in his accounts of Jurong made during the Perry Expedition: Inland, the surface of the country is diversified with low hills and shallow valleys.
In maps made by the British administration before Singapore's self-governance in 1959, the colonial era district of Jurong was rather small, occupying what is today the present-day town of Bukit Batok. However, as the boundaries of Jurong were never made clear by surveyors at that time, many residents have regarded the areas along the stretch of Jurong Road as part of the region itself; such areas include the colonial era districts of Peng Kang, the southern portions of Choa Chu Kang and Tuas. Today, most of what is left of the original pristine Jurong is restricted to the areas around the Pandan Reservoir and Sungei Pandan. Little traces of the dipterocarp forest still remain; the mangrove swamps today are now just a fraction of its former self, located at the mouth of Sungei Pandan. The untouched mangrove fringes still hold the last remnants of wildlife in Jurong, it is because of this that area remains a hotspot for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers to this day. The sea shore is low and overgrown with mangroves, broken by the entrances of salty creeks, penetrating sometimes to the extent of six or seven miles, overflow their banks, convert their neighbour
Jurong West is a planning area and residential town located in the West Region of Singapore. Jurong West shares boundaries with Tengah in the north, Jurong East in the east, Boon Lay and Pioneer in the south, Western Water Catchment in the west. A forested area, Jurong West is undergoing rapid development under the ambition of the Housing and Development Board to transform it into a mature housing estate. Jurong West originated from the area once called Peng Kang, named after the gambier plantations along Sungei Jurong. By the mid-20th century, the area was home to several brickworks, palm oil plantations and nurseries. At that time, the only public housing estates in Jurong West were Taman Jurong. Jurong West was left alone until 1984, when the HDB began conceptualisation for a new town in Jurong West. Jurong West was carved into nine subzones that would house a total of 94,000 public and private housing units in the long term; the town's first apartment blocks were completed at Taman Jurong in 1963.
By November 2004, about 71,522 dwelling units were completed. As of 31 March 2018, there are 74,301 HDB dwelling units in Jurong West. Jurong West is a residential town situated west of Tengah New Town in the western part of Singapore, under the West Region as defined by the Urban Redevelopment Authority; the town is bordered to the north by the Pan Island Expressway, to the east by Sungei Jurong and Jurong Lake, to the south by the Ayer Rajah Expressway, to the west by Benoi Road and Upper Jurong Road. Jurong West Town Centre is located in Jurong West Central. An industrial area, part of the Jurong Industrial Estate, is located south of Boon Lay Way and Upper Jurong Road. Another industrial area is under development in Wenya as part of the Jurong Innovation District. Jurong West New Town is divided into the following nine subzones. Boon Lay Chin Bee Hong Kah Jurong West Central Kian Teck Safti Taman Jurong Wenya Yunnan As of 2018, Jurong West has a population of 266,720, most of whom are part of the working population.
The most populous subzone is Yunnan with 68,840 residents followed by Jurong West Central with 65,720 residents. Chin Bee, has just ten residents, while Safti is unpopulated. Packed into an area of 9.87 km2, of which just 4.8 km2 are designated as residential areas, Jurong West has a population density of 27,000 people per km2. Jurong West's two main rivers, Sungei Jurong and Sungei Lanchar, run through the town with a network of green connectors along their banks, they link housing precincts to neighborhood parks such as Jurong Central Park, as well as the Jurong West Sports Centre, Jurong West Stadium and Frontier Community Centre. These park connectors are linked to the Chinese Garden in Jurong East New Town and the Bukit Batok Town Park in the north, to better serve the recreational needs of the residents of Jurong West. Jurong Central Park, located in Kian Teck, is a rectangular green space created behind Boon Lay MRT Station. Jurong West's major public transport amenities were built in tandem with the main public housing development.
The elevated track infrastructure of the East West Line was developed as the existing public housing blocks were being built in the 1980s. The amenities were built in a contiguous building complex, which gives commuters direct access between Boon Lay MRT Station, Boon Lay Bus Interchange, Centris condominium and Jurong Point shopping centre. City planners plan for public transport to become the preferred mode of transport; the government of Singapore uses public transport to reduce pollution caused by heavy road traffic. Jurong West is part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's focus for realising this urban planning model; as Jurong West is distant from the city centre at the Central Area, an efficient, high-volume and high-speed public transport system is preferred to using road networks, as the government is aiming to reduce the number of cars on the road. Jurong West Town is linked to the rest of Singapore through the East West Line at Boon Lay MRT Station, located at the Town Centre; the EWL is a heavy rail mass rapid transit system, connects to other systems in the MRT network.
It is operated by SMRT. There are three Mass Rapid Transit stations that serve Jurong West Planning Area, which are Lakeside, Boon Lay and Pioneer; the Boon Lay MRT Station is located next to Boon Lay Bus Interchange for commuters' ease of switching across different modes of public transport. The MRT station began operations on 6 July 1990, as the western terminus of the East West Line, before additional stations were added further west of the line at Pioneer and Joo Koon on 28 February 2009. Lakeside, another station along the EWL in Jurong West Town, serves the housing developments in Taman Jurong, Hong Kah and Boon Lay; the station began operations on 5 November 1988. Pioneer is the newest EWL station to open in Jurong West, on 28 February 2009; the station improves accessibility to residential areas of Nanyang and Pioneer, as well as the industrial areas located south of the station. The inter-town Jurong Region Line system is a 24 km mass rapid transit line that will connect residents to the town centre, as well as other areas such as Tengah, Choa Chu Kang and Jurong East.
The MRT line will have 24 stations and all will be elevated. The line will open in 2026; the Boon Lay Bus Interchange was opened in July 1990 along with Boon Lay MRT station. At that time, developments around the area in Jurong West New Town were still in progress, it was rebuilt and reopened in December 2009 at the ground level of Jurong Point Shopping Centre, next
Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent