China's Provincial Level Administrative Units

 

China is currently administered by the central government in Beijing.  The country has been divided into regions consisting of 34 administrative units including 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the jurisdiction of the central government, and 2 special administrative regions. 

 

The four municipalities are:

 

Beijing

 

Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) and its abbreviation is Jing. It is positioned at the north end of the North China Plain. Its original name is Ji and was the capital city of the Yan Kingdom in the Spring, Autumn, and Warring States Periods. The Liao Dynasty selected it as the auxiliary capital with the name of Yanjing. The following dynasties of Jin, Yuan, Ming, Qing, and even the Ex-Republic of China selected it as the capital. The city has also been known as Zhongdu, Dadu, Beiping, and Beijing successively. Beijing city was established in 1928. It has 16 subordinate districts and 2 counties and is administered directly by the central government. Beijing occupies a total area of 16,800 square kilometers and has a registered permanent residence of over 11 million people (2002 census). Beijing is the political, cultural, scientific, and educational center of China.  It also serves as the transportation hub for the entire country.  Beijing is also popular with tourists, boasting cultural relics like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs, Summer Palace, and the Fragrant Hills.

 

Shanghai

 

Shanghai's abbreviation is Hu.  It is located in the middle of the east coast beside the estuary of the Yangtze River.  The ancient Shanghai is a fishing village by the shore. In the Spring and Autumn Periods, this region belonged to the Wu Kingdom. During the Warring States Periods, Sir Chun Shen of Chu Kingdom was in possession of Shanghai as fief. In the Song Dynasty, Shanghai was established as a town, and was given the name of "Shanghai". In 1927, Shanghai became a city. Today, Shanghai is one of the 4 municipalities in China and has 18 subordinate districts and 1 county. Shanghai occupies a total area of 5,800 square kilometers. By the end of 2002, Shanghai has a registered permanent residence of 13,347,000. Shanghai is the largest city in China and one of the largest in the world.  Shanghai is the business, finance, industrial, and scientific center of China. 

 

Tianjin

 

The abbreviation for Tianjin is Jin. It is located in the northeastern part of the North China Plains, where five branches of the Hai River intersect and merge with the Bohai Sea. Tianjin, which was called Zhigu in Jin during the Yuan Dynasties, has been the traffic link of the canal. During the Ming Dynasty the government changed its name to Tianjin, meaning "emperor's ferry", and built a castle there. In the Qing Dynasty, Tianjin became a castellan area and formally became a city in 1928. Today, Tianjin has 15 subordinate districts and 3 counties.  It is one of the 4 municipalities and covers a total area of 11,000 square kilometers.   According to 2002 statistics, Tianjin has a registered permanent residence of 9,195,000. Tianjin is largest industrial city in the North China Plains and has rich stores of oil, gas, and sea salt. Tianjin is also an important business center and port city of North China. Tianjin also is home to many relics, including the Ning Garden, Tianhou Palace, Dagukou Emplacement, Dule Temple of Ji County, Ancient Great Wall on Huangya Pass, and the Beauty Spot of Panshan Mountain, which is regarded as "The First Mountain to the east of Beijing".

 

Chongqing

 

The abbreviation for Chongqing is Yu. It is located in southwestern China up to the Yangtze River. Chongqing belonged to the Ba Kingdom in the Spring, Autumn and Warring States Periods. During the Sui and Tang Dynasties it belonged to Yuzhou. The Ex-Republic of China selected it as the auxiliary capital in the era of the Asia-Pacific War. In 1997, the municipality of Chongqing was founded. It consists of Chongqing city, Wanxian city, Fuling city and Qianjiang area. Chongqing municipality has 15 subordinate districts, 3 county cities, 17 counties, and 4 autonomous counties. Chongqing occupies a total area of 82,300 square kilometers. By the end of 2002, Chongqing has a registered permanent residence of 31,070,000. The municipality is an integrated industrial city, and has various tourist destinations such as the three gorges of Yangtze River, Pipa Mountain and Jinyun Mountain.

 

The 23 provinces are:

 

Province 

Abbreviation 

Capital

Hebei

Ji

Shijiazhuang

Shanxi

Jin

Taiyuan

Liaoning

Liao

Shenyang

Jilin

Ji

Changchun

Heilongjiang

Hei

Harbin

Jiangsu

Su

Nanjing

Zhejiang

Zhe

Hangzhou

Anhui

Wan

Hefei

Fujian

Min

Fuzhou

Jiangxi

Gan

Nanchang

Shandong

Lu

Jinan

Henan

Yu

Zhengzhou

Hubei

E

Wuhan

Hunan

Xiang

Changsha

Guangdong

Yue

Guangzhou

Hainan

Qiong

Haikou

Sichuan

Chuan or Shu

Chengdu

Guizhou

Qian or Gui

Guiyang

Yunnan

Dian or Yun

Kunming

Shaanxi

Shan or Qin

Xi'an

Gansu

Long

Lanzhou

Qinghai

Qing

Xi'ning

Taiwan

Tai

Taipei

 

The 5 autonomous regions are:


 

Autonomous Region

Abbreviation

Capital

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Neimenggu

Hohhot

Tibet Autonomous Region

Zang

Lhasa

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Gui

Nanning

Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

Ning

Yinchuan

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Xin

Urumqi

 

The two special administrative regions are:

 

Hong Kong

 

The P.R.C. regained governance over Hong Kong in July 1, 1997 and established the city as a special administrative region.  The abbreviation for Hong Kong is Gang.  The city is located along the coastline of the South China Sea on the east of the Zhujiang River and south of Shenzhen in Guangdong province. It includes the island of Kowloon, New Territories, and other islands nearby. Hong Kong occupies a total area of 1,098.51 square kilometers. As of 2002, Hong Kong had a population of 6,815,800.

 

Macao

 

The P.R.C. regained governance over Macao on December 20, 1999 and established the city as a special administrative region.   Macao's abbreviation is Ao.  Macao is located on an island on the west side of the Zhujiang River.  The special administrative region includes Dangzai (Taipa) Island and Luhuan Island. Macao occupies a total area of 28.5 square kilometers. As of 2002, Macao had a registered permanent residence of 442,000.