Administrative division of the People's Republic of China

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Administrative division of
the People's Republic of China

National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.svg
Provincial level
Autonomous regions
Government immediate cities
Special administrative regions
District level
Immediate provincial administrative zones
District-free cities
Autonomous counties
Administrative districts
Frets / leagues
District level
One district cities
Autonomous circles
Autonomous banners
Special areas
Community level
Street district
Large municipalities
Nationality communities
Nationalities sum
District offices
Village level
Communities of residents

The People's Republic of China is administratively and politically divided into six main levels:

  • The national level in the understanding of the People's Republic refers to the whole of China, i.e. includes Taiwan .
  • The provincial level comprises the most important administrative divisions, which are also best known outside of China. China has been divided into provinces for many centuries.
  • The district level has since the beginning of reform and opening become increasingly important, and especially independence 1981st
  • The county level heard the provincial level, the oldest administrative organization of China.
  • The municipal level has been subjected to a comprehensive administrative reform since the 1980s, some of which is still ongoing today. As at the district level, it should meet the demands on local decision-making authority that have grown in the context of economic reforms.
  • The village level is the level of the direct contact zone between the state and citizens and is therefore of great importance for the implementation of domestic political guidelines.

While the top two and the bottom two of these six levels are represented in every place in China, the district level is missing in some places and the district level in others. For example, in the cities directly under the government, in the autonomous region of Xinjiang, in the province of Hainan and in other provinces, the county level is subordinate directly to the provincial level. In contrast, in some prefecture-level cities (Sansha, Zhongshan, Jiayuguan) the county level, i.e. H. the municipal level is directly subordinate to the district level. Since autumn 2011 there has been one case ( Xialu in Huangshi ) in which the county level dissolved the community level and the village level subordinated itself directly. In July 2014, the four urban districts of Sanyas were added, and the community level was also dissolved when they were re-established. Whether these are individual cases or whether there is a trend towards restructuring the administration at least in the city districts cannot yet be said.

The terms district, district and municipality are not to be equated with those terms used in the administrative structure of the Federal Republic of Germany . So is z. B. the Chinese level of the municipalities of the size and not competence according to the German district (area) comparable, as well as the Chinese district to the German administrative district .

Provincial level

Administrative divisions at provincial level are:

Political organization of the People's Republic of China (PRC)

List of provinces

The provinces are arranged alphabetically. Under the references of this article there are links to other collations. The area details are shown in square kilometers. The population figures are the results of the 2010 census.

Surname Abbreviation Long characters Pinyin abbreviation Capital Area km² population
Anhui 安徽 安徽 Ānhuī wǎn Hefei 139.057 59,500,510
Fujian 福建 福建 Fújiàn mǐn Fuzhou 123.603 36,894,216
Gansu 甘肃 甘肅 Gansu gān, lǒng Lanzhou 464.186 25,575,254
Guangdong 广东 廣東 Guǎngdōng yuè Guangzhou 177.933 104.303.132
Guizhou 贵州 貴州 Guìzhōu qián, guì Guiyang 176.505 34,746,468
Hainan 海南 海南 Hǎinán qióng Haikou 34,353 8,671,518
Hebei 河北 河北 Héběi Shijiazhuang 187.991 71.854.202
Heilongjiang 黑龙江 黑龍江 Hēilóngjiāng hēi Harbin 432,477 38.312.224
Henan 河南 河南 Henan Zhengzhou 166,499 94.023.567
Hubei 湖北 湖北 Húběi è Wuhan 185.125 57.237.740
Hunan 湖南 湖南 Hú'nán xiāng Changsha 211,836 65,683,722
Jiangsu 江苏 江蘇 Jiāngsū Nanjing 97,607 78.659.903
Jiangxi 江西 江西 Jiāngxī gàn Nanchang 167,430 44,567,475
Jilin 吉林 吉林 Jílín Changchun 192.105 27,462,297
Liaoning 辽宁 遼寧 Liáoníng liáo Shenyang 147.785 43,746,323
Qinghai 青海 青海 Qīnghǎi qīng Xining 716.693 5,626,722
Shaanxi 陕西 陝西 Shǎnxī shǎn, qín Xi'an 205,693 37,327,378
Shandong 山东 山東 Shāndōng Jinan 156,867 95.793.065
Shanxi 山西 山西 Shānxī jìn Taiyuan 157.023 35.712.111
Sichuan 四川 四川 Sìchuān chuān, shǔ Cheng you 491.146 80.418.200
Yunnan 云南 雲南 Yúnnán diān, yún Kunming 393.734 45.966.239
Zhejiang 浙江 浙江 Zhèjiāng zhè Hangzhou 103,900 54,426,891

Controversial Status of Taiwan

Since its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China has regarded Taiwan as its 23rd province .

However, the Republic of China controls Taiwan Province , Jinmen County, and a municipality in Lianjiang County, Fujian Province . The Republic of China also claimed the entire territory of the People's Republic of China, including Tibet , Outer Mongolia (today's State of Mongolia ), Urjanchai (today's Republic of Tuva (Russia)) and other areas beyond today's borders of China. This claim was abandoned in 1991 by President Lee Teng-hui ; however, this has not been ratified by the National Assembly of the Republic of China.

In 1999, the outgoing president coined the two-China theory , which was followed up by the successor government. President Chen Shui-bian also stuck to this line, which he manifested through the policy of five no's . The last president of the Republic of China, Ma Ying-jeou , on the other hand, rejected Taiwan independence and pursued a policy of rapprochement with the People's Republic without questioning Taiwan's independence. Maps printed in Taiwan often depict the provincial borders as they were drawn in 1949, thereby ignoring the changes made to some provincial borders by the People's Republic of China since 1949.

List of autonomous regions

Surname Abbreviation Long characters Pinyin abbreviation Capital Area km² population
Guangxi 广西 廣西 Guǎngxī guì Nanning 241.410 46,026,629
Inner Mongolia 内蒙古 内蒙古 Nèi Měnggǔ měng Hohhot 1,218,698 24,706,321
Ningxia 宁夏 寧夏 Níngxià níng Yinchuan 55,461 6,301,350
Xinjiang 新疆 新疆 Xīnjiāng xīn Urumqi 1,774,034 21,813,334
Tibet 西藏 西藏 Xīzàng zàng Lhasa 1,268,947 3,002,166

List of government immediate cities

Surname Abbreviation Long characters Pinyin abbreviation Area km² population
Beijing 北京 北京 Běijīng jīng 16.808 19,612,368
Chongqing 重庆 重慶 Chóngqìng 82,403 28,846,170
Shanghai 上海 上海 Shànghǎi 6,341 23,019,148
Tianjin 天津 天津 Tiānjīn jīn 11,632 12,938,224

The term “direct government” means that these cities - like provinces - are directly subordinate to the central government of China.

List of Special Administrative Areas

Surname Abbreviation Long characters Pinyin abbreviation Area km² population
Hong Kong 香港 香港 Xiānggǎng gǎng 1.104 6,961,931
Macau 澳门 澳門 Àomén ào 24 517,000

Hierarchy of administrative units based on data from the People's Republic of China

As of December 31, 2013, no data from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are included below the provincial level. The following data already take into account the district-free city of Sansha, which was founded on July 24, 2012 .

Provincial level

34 administrative units:

District level

333 administrative units, of which

  • 286 cities at the district level ( 地 級 市  /  地 级 市 , dìjíshì ), of which 15 are sub-provincial towns ( 副 省級 城市  /  副 省级 城市 , fù shěngjí chéngshì ). The administrative area of ​​the cities at district level includes both the urban area and the surrounding greater region. For this reason, in addition to city districts, districts and urban districts are also subordinate to them.
  • 30 Autonomous Districts ( 自治州 , zìzhìzhōu ).
  • 14 administrative districts ( 地區  /  地区 , dìqū ).
  • Three frets (aimag) , also called “leagues” ( Mongolian ᠠᠶᠢᠮᠠᠭ ayimaɣ [ æːmɑ̆ɡ̊ ], Cyrillic аймаг , , méng ); Bunds only exist in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region .

District level

2,853 (+7) administrative units

Community level

40,497 (+3) administrative units

Village level

The administrative units at the municipal level are composed of communities of residents ( 社區  /  社区 , shèqū ) in urban areas and villages ( , cūn ) in rural areas . There are also in parts of Inner Mongolia, especially in the imprinted from the pasture livestock grassland that Gaqaa ( 嘎查 , Gacha ), "villages" of pastoralists.

In terms of political representation and power, the village level is of no great importance, but organizationally of great importance. The implementation of the policy decided at higher levels, the distribution of mail, the censuses (every ten years) would not be possible without the well-organized village level, which has clearly defined boundaries (such as the higher administrative units) and a responsible head in each case. Political representation of the resident communities are the "resident committees", often referred to as "neighborhood committees" ( 居民委員會  /  居民委员会 , jūmín wěiyuánhùi ), those of the villages the "village committees" ( 村民 委員會  /  村民委员会 , cūnmín wěiyuánhùi ).

It is currently not possible to give an exact number of administrative units at village level, as this is constantly changing due to the ongoing administrative reform in China.

Historical development of the provincial division since 1949

Since 1949, several provincial borders were readjusted. This mainly affected provinces in the outer peripheral areas (Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and neighboring areas). The core provinces of “ China proper ” remained largely unchanged from 1952 onwards.

Former disbanded provinces

location province Character ( pinyin ) Abbr. current affiliation
ROC Div Andong.svg Andong 安 東  /  安 东
- today part of Liaoning and Jilin
ROC Div Chahaer.svg Chahar 察哈爾  /  察哈尔
now part of Inner Mongolia
Qing Dynasty Fengtian map 1911.svg Fengtian
(before Shengjing)
奉天  /  奉天
(before that 盛京  /  盛京 Shengjing)
today part of Liaoning
  • from 1616 (Qing Dynasty) to 1907: Shengjing (= Southern Manchuria)
  • 1907 to 1929: Fengtian
  • Feb. 5, 1929 to March 1, 1932: Liaoning
  • March 1, 1932 to Aug. 18, 1945: Fengtian ( Manchukuo regime)
  • since 1945: Liaoning
ROC Div Hejiang.svg Hejiang 合 江  /  合 江
- today part of Heilongjiang
ROC Div Liaobei.svg Liaobei 遼 北  /  辽 北
- now part of Inner Mongolia
ROC Div Rehe.svg deer 熱河  /  热河
today largely part of Hebei
ROC Div Songjiang.svg Songjiang 松江  /  松江
- today part of Heilongjiang
ROC Div Suiyuan.svg Suiyuan 綏遠  /  绥远
now part of Inner Mongolia
ROC Div Xikang.svg Xikang 西康  /  西康
Today the western half belongs to Tibet , the eastern half to Sichuan .
ROC Div Xingan.svg Xing'an 興安  /  兴安
- now part of Inner Mongolia

See also


  • Yan Junxu (Red.): Geography (= China book series. ). Foreign Language Literature Publishing House, Beijing 1984.
  • Qi Wen (齐 雯): China in outline. Foreign Language Literature Publishing House, Beijing 1985.
  • Qin Shi (秦 石): China. Neuer Stern-Verlag, Beijing 1994, ISBN 7-80102-126-6 (2nd edition, ibid 1997, ISBN 7-80102-731-0 ).
  • Xinwen Zhou: China. Facts and figures 1999. Neuer Stern-Verlag, Beijing 1999, ISBN 7-80148-193-3 .
  • Ren Shuyin (任 树 银): China. Regional studies. Foreign Language Literature Publishing House, Beijing 2001, ISBN 7-119-02850-2 .
  • Zhong Xin (钟欣) (Ed.): China 2002. Neuer Stern publishing house, Beijing 2002, ISBN 7-80148-479-7 .
  • Erling von Mende , Heike Holbig: Local administration. In: Stefan Friedrich, Hans-Wilm Schütte, Brunhild Staiger (eds.) The great China Lexicon. History, geography, society, politics, economy, education, science, culture. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-14988-2 , pp. 456–458.
  • Sebastian Heilmann : Political System, 3rd People's Republic. In: Stefan Friedrich, Hans-Wilm Schütte, Brunhild Staiger (eds.) The great China Lexicon. History, geography, society, politics, economy, education, science, culture. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-14988-2 , pp. 575-578.
  • Yin Zhongqing (尹中卿): The political system in China today. China Intercontinental Press, Beijing 2004, ISBN 7-5085-0470-4 .
  • Meyer's Atlas China. On the way to world power. Bibliographisches Institut AG, Mannheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-411-08281-0 , pp. 92-93.

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