simple:Chinese When used as an adjective, Chinese refers to anything that is originated from China, e.g., Chinese cuisine.
When the word is used as a noun, it means either:
- the Chinese language
- Zhongguo ren (中國人 or 中国人): which is Chinese in a political sense and includes a person from the People's Republic of China. Whether or not the term includes a person from the Republic of China on Taiwan is a controversial topic and depends on one's political beliefs.
- Hua ren (華人 or 华人): a descendant of Zhongguo ren, including people of any nationality (e.g., Chinese Americans). See ethnic Chinese.
When used by non-Chinese, the term has also been used synonymously with the Han Chinese, which is the majority ethnicity (>92%) within China. Some Chinese reject this usage, and conflicts over this particular usage tend to come up in discussions about ethnic minorities.