In Taiwan, 20ᵗʰ century – present, a unit of area = 1 square meter. “Pingfang” means “square,” and “kung” means “official,” “legal,” or in the case of units, “metric.” See kung ch'ih. The ch'ih is an old linear unit; thus, a term for a new unit, the meter, was formed by calling it the official or common version of the old unit.
See also p'ing for a similiar Taiwanese unit.
This term is in the romanization favored by the government of Taiwan. In the more common pinyin romanization promulgated by the government of China, “kung” is “gong”, for example, and a meter was, formerly, gōngchǐ 公尺. Gōngchǐ has been supplanted by mǐ, and a square meter is píngfāngmǐ, 平方米.
United Nations, 1966.
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Last revised: 2 January 2017.