Mandarin is the official spoken language of China and Taiwan and is one of the four official languages of Singapore. It is widely spoken in Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia. Mandarin has different official names in China, Taiwan, and Singapore.
Mandarin is the dialect which originated in Beijing, China's capital for most of the last millennium, and has thus spread throughout the country as a lingua franca. Since the beginning of the Communist regime in 1949, it has been enforced as the official spoken language in all schools and governmental offices.