Information about provinces, cities, counties,towns in China
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China consists of 23 provinces, 5 autonomous ethinic regions, 4 municipalities directly under the central government , 2 special administrative regions and 1 independent province (Taiwan),at the first level,i.e. provicial level, 333 municipalities and prefectures at the second level, also referred to as prefectural level, and 2,856 counties, cities and districts at the third level,i.e. county-level, as well as over 40,906 towns, townships and sub-districts at the fourth level (township-level). All that can be traced on this website. .


The administrative division system of China

Due to China's large population and area, the administrative divisions of China have consisted of several levels since ancient times. The constitution of the People's Republic of China provides for three de jure levels of government. Currently, however, there are five practical (de facto) levels of local government: the province, prefecture, county, township, and village.

Since the seventeenth century, provincial boundaries in China have remained largely static. Major changes since then have been the reorganization of provinces in the northeast after the establishment of the People's Republic of China and the formation of autonomous regions, based on Soviet ethnic policies. The provinces serve an important cultural role in China, as people tend to identify with their native province.

The Constitution of the People's Republic of China provides for three levels: the province, county, and township. However, two more levels have been inserted in actual implementation: the prefecture, under provinces; and the village, under townships. There is a sixth level, the district public office, below counties, but it is being abolished. The People's Republic of China administers 33 province-level regions, 333 prefecture-level regions, 2,862 county-level regions, 41,636 township-level regions, and several village-level regions.

Reform of the administrative divisions of China
In recent years there have been calls to reform the administrative divisions and levels of China. Rumours of an impending major reform have also spread through various online bulletin boards.
The district public offices is an ongoing reform to remove an extra level of administration from between the county and township levels. There have also been calls to abolish the prefecture level, and some provinces have transferred some of the power prefectures currently hold to the counties they govern. There are also calls to reduce the size of the provinces. The ultimate goal is to reduce the different administration levels from five to three, (Provincial, County, Village) reducing the amount of corruption as well as the number of government workers, in order to lower the budget.

This table summarizes the divisions of the area administered by the People's Republic of China as of December 31, 2005.

Level Name Types
1 Province level
省级行政区
  • Provinces (省 shěng) (23)
  • Autonomous regions (自治区 zìzhìqū) (5)
  • Municipalities directly under central government (直辖市 zhíxiáshì) (4)
  • Special administrative regions (特别行政区 tèbié xíngzhèngqū) (2)
2 Prefecture level
地级行政区
  • Prefectures (地区 dìqū) (17)
  • Autonomous prefectures(自治州 zìzhìzhōu) (30)
  • Prefecture-level municipalities/cities (地级市 dìjíshì) (283)
  • Leagues (盟 méng) (3)
3 County level
县级行政区
  • Counties (县 xiàn) (1,461)
  • Autonomous counties (自治县 zìzhìxiàn) (117)
  • County-level cities(县级市 xiànjíshì) (370)
  • Districts (市辖区 shìxiáqū) (853)
  • Banners (旗 qí) (49)
  • Autonomous banners (自治旗 zìzhìqí) (3)
  • Forestry areas (林区 línqū) (1)
  • Special districts (特区 tèqū) (2)
4 Township level
乡级行政区
  • Townships (乡 xiāng) (13379)
  • Ethnic townships (民族乡 mínzúxiāng) (1,095)
  • Towns(镇 zhèn) (19,410)
  • Subdistricts(街道办事处 jiēdàobànshìchù) (6,923)
  • District public offices(区公所 qūgōngsuǒ) (2)
  • Sumu (苏木 sūmù) (96)
  • Ethnic sumu (民族苏木 mínzúsūmù) (1)
5 Village level (informal)
村级自治组织
  • Neighborhood committees (社区居民委员会 jūmínwěiyuánhùi) ()
    • Communities (社区)
  • Village committees (村民委员会 cūnmínwěiyuánhùi) ()
    • Administrative villages (行政村 xíngzhèngcūn)
    • Natural villages (自然村 zìráncūn)
    • Village groups (村民小组 cūnmínxiǎozǔ)
* Data as of December 31, 2010.

Province level

The People's Republic of China administers 33 province-level divisions, including 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two special administrative regions:
Provinces are theoretically subservient to the PRC central government, but in practice provincial officials have large discretion with regard to economic policy. Unlike the United States, the power of the central government was (with the exception of the military) not exercised through a parallel set of institutions until the early 1990s. The actual practical power of the provinces has created what some economists call federalism with Chinese characteristics.
Most of the provinces, with the exception of the provinces in the northeast, have boundaries which were established during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Sometimes provincial borders veer markedly away from cultural or geographical boundaries, a phenomenon described as "dog's teeth interlocking" . This was an attempt by the imperial government to discourage separatism and warlordism through a divide and rule policy. Nevertheless, provinces have come to serve an important cultural role in China. People tend to be identified in terms of their native provinces, and each province has a stereotype that corresponds to their inhabitants.
The most recent administrative changes have included the elevation of Hainan (1988) and Chongqing (1997) to provincial level status and the organization of Hong Kong (1997) and Macau (1999) as Special Administrative Regions.
Province level subdivisions
  • 22 Provinces (省; shěng)— A standard province level subject that has a provincial committee, headed by a secretary. The committee secretary is first-in-charge of the province, rather than the governor of the provincial government.
  • 5 Autonomous Regions (自治区; zīzhìqù)— A minority subject which has a higher population of a particular minority ethnic group along with its own local government, but an autonomous region theoretically has more legislative rights. In practice, they only have the right to appoint the governor (from the local minority).
  • 4 Municipalities (直辖市; zhíxiáshì)— The highest level classification for cities used by Chinese governments, with status equal to that of the provinces.
  • 2 Special Administrative Regions (SARs) (特别行政区; tèbiéxíngzhèngqū)— A highly autonomous and largely self-governing subnational subject of the People's Republic of China. Each SAR has a gubernatorial chief executive as head of the region and head of government. Each region's government, however, is not fully independent, as foreign policy and military defense are retained as the province of the nation and its central government.
  • 1 pending-reunite Province — the island of Taiwan and its surrounding islets, including Penghu, is currently under the control of the Republic of China whose reign in mainland was overthrown by the Communist Party of China in 1949.
Provinces-level divisions of the People's Republic of China[3]
Map # Region Division name Trad. Simp. Pinyin Postal Abbr. Type Capital Population¹ Density² Area³ Divisions
1 Northwest Xinjiang 新疆 新疆 Xīnjiāng Sinkiang xīn CN-65 AR Ürümqi 19,630,000 12 1,660,400 List
2 North Inner Mongolia 內蒙古 内蒙古 Nèiměnggǔ Mongolia 内蒙 Nèiměng CN-15 AR Hohhot 23,840,000 20 1,183,000 List
3 Northeast Heilongjiang 黑龍江 黑龙江 Hēilóngjiāng Heilungkiang hēi CN-23 Province Harbin 38,170,000 83 454,000 List
4 Northeast Jilin 吉林 吉林 Jílín Kirin CN-22 Province Changchun 27,090,000 145 187,400 List
5 Northeast Liaoning 遼寧 辽宁 Liáoníng Fengtien liáo CN-21 Province Shenyang 42,170,000 289 145,900 List
6 Southwest Tibet 西藏 西藏 Xīzàng Tibet zàng CN-54 AR Lhasa 2,740,000 2 1,228,400 List
7 Northwest Qinghai 青海 青海 Qīnghǎi Tsinghai qīng CN-63 Province Xining 5,390,000 7 721,200 List
8 Northwest Gansu 甘肅 甘肃 Gānsù Kansu gān CN-62 Province Lanzhou 26,190,000 58 454,300 List
9 Northwest Ningxia 寧夏 宁夏 Níngxià Ningsia níng CN-64 AR Yinchuan 5,880,000 89 66,400 List
10 Northwest Shaanxi 陝西 陕西 Shǎnxī Shensi shǎn CN-61 Province Xi'an 37,050,000 180 205,600 List
11 North Shanxi 山西 山西 Shānxī Shansi jìn CN-14 Province Taiyuan 33,350,000 213 156,300 List
12 North Hebei 河北 河北 Héběi Hopeh CN-13 Province Shijiazhuang 68,090,000 363 187,700 List
13 North Beijing 北京 北京 Běijīng Peking jīng CN-11 Municip. 15,810,000 941 16,800 List
14 North Tianjin 天津 天津 Tiānjīn Tientsin jīn CN-12 Municip. 11,519,000 980 11,305 List
15 East Shandong 山東 山东 Shāndōng Shantung CN-37 Province Jinan 91,800,000 586 153,800 List
16 South Central Henan 河南 河南 Hénán Honan CN-41 Province Zhengzhou 98,690,000 591 167,000 List
17 Southwest Sichuan 四川 四川 Sìchuān Szechuan chuān CN-51 Province Chengdu 87,250,000 180 485,000 List
18 Southwest Chongqing 重慶 重庆 Chóngqìng Chungking CN-50 Municip. 31,442,300 382 82,300 List
19 South Central Hubei 湖北 湖北 Húběi Hupeh è CN-42 Province Wuhan 60,160,000 324 185,900 List
20 East Anhui 安徽 安徽 Ānhuī Anhwei wǎn CN-34 Province Hefei 64,610,000 463 139,700 List
21 East Jiangsu 江蘇 江苏 Jiāngsū Kiangsu CN-32 Province Nanjing 75,495,000 736 102,600 List
22 Southwest Yunnan 雲南 云南 Yúnnán Yunnan diān CN-53 Province Kunming 44,150,000 112 394,000 List
23 Southwest Guizhou 貴州 贵州 Gùizhōu Kweichow qián CN-52 Province Guiyang 39,040,000 222 176,000 List
24 South Central Hunan 湖南 湖南 Húnán Hunan xiāng CN-43 Province Changsha 66,980,000 316 210,000 List
25 East Jiangxi 江西 江西 Jiāngxī Kiangsi gàn CN-36 Province Nanchang 42,840,000 257 167,000 List
26 East Zhejiang 浙江 浙江 Zhèjiāng Chekiang zhè

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