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Administrative Division System

China's administrative units are currently based on a three-tier system, dividing the nation into provinces, counties and townships:

The country is divided into provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government.

A province or an autonomous region is subdivided into autonomous prefectures, counties, autonomous counties and/or cities.

A county or an autonomous county is subdivided into townships, ethnic townships and/or towns.

Municipalities directly under the Central Government and large cities are subdivided into districts and counties; autonomous prefectures are subdivided into counties, autonomous counties and cities. Autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties are all ethnic autonomous areas. The Constitution specifically empowers the state to establish special administrative regions when necessary. A special administrative region is a local administrative area directly under the Central Government.

The People's Republic of China has 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 centrally administered municipalities and 2 special administrative regions (see the following table).

China's Provinces, Autonomous Regions, Centrally-administered Municipalities and Special Administrative Regions
NameSeat of GovernmentArea(10,000 sq km)Population*(10,000 persons)
Beijing MunicipalityBeijing1.681,456
Tianjin MunicipalityTianjin1.131,011
Hebei ProvinceShijiazhuang19.006,769
Shanxi ProvinceTaiyuan15.603,314
Inner Mongolia Autonomous RegionHohhot118.302,380
Liaoning ProvinceShenyang14.574,210
Jilin ProvinceChangchun18.702,704
Heilongjiang ProvinceHarbin46.903,815
Shanghai MunicipalityShanghai0.621,711
Jiangsu ProvinceNanjing10.267,406
Zhejiang ProvinceHangzhou10.184,680
Anhui ProvinceHefei13.906,410
Fujian ProvinceFuzhou12.003,488
Jiangxi ProvinceNanchang16.664,254
Shandong ProvinceJinan15.309,125
Henan ProvinceZhengzhou16.709,667
Hubei ProvinceWuhan18.746,002
Hunan ProvinceChangsha21.006,663
Guangdong ProvinceGuangzhou18.607,954
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous RegionNanning23.634,857
Hainan ProvinceHaikou3.40811
Chongqing MunicipalityChongqing8.203,130
Sichuan ProvinceChengdu48.808,700
Guizhou ProvinceGuiyang17.003,870
Yunnan ProvinceKunming39.404,376
Tibet Autonomous RegionLhasa122.00270
Shaanxi ProvinceXi'an20.503,690
Gansu ProvinceLanzhou45.002,603
Qinghai ProvinceXining72.00534
Ningxia Hui Autonomous RegionYinchuan6.64580
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous RegionUrumqi160.001,934
Hong Kong Special Administrative RegionHong Kong0.1092680 (in mid-2003)
Macao Special Administrative RegionMacao0.002445 (in mid-2003)
Taiwan ProvinceTaipei3.602261

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