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Provinces of China

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Most of the provinces of China have boundaries which were established in the late Ming Dynasty. Major changes since then have been the reorganization of provinces in the Northeast after the Communist takeover in 1949 and the establishment of Autonomous Regions which are based on Soviet nationality theory. The most recent administrative changes have included the elevation of Chongqing and Hainan to provincial level status and the organization of Hong Kong and Macao as special administrative regions. All of the newly created PRC administrative levels equal those of the provinces.

Provinces theoretically are subservient to the People's Republic of China central government, but in practice provincial officials have a large amount of discretion with regard to economic policy. Unlike the United States, the power of the central government is (with the exception of the military) not exercised through a parallel set of institutions.

The actual practical power of the provinces has created what some economists call federalism with Chinese characteristics.

For the capitals, please refer to the list of capitals of subnational entities.

Mainland China has 22 provinces (省 pinyin sheng3):

  • Anhui (安徽 pinyin an1 hui3), abbreviation: Wan (皖 pinyin wan3)
  • Fujian (福建 fu2 jian4), abbr. Min (闽 min3)
  • Gansu (甘肃 gan1 su4), abbr. Gan (甘 gan1), Long (陇 long3)
  • Guangdong (广东 guang3 dong1), abbr. Yue (粤 yue4)
  • Guizhou (贵州 gui4 zhou1), abbr. Qian (黔 qian2), Gui (贵 gui4)
  • Hainan (海南 hai3 nan2), abbr. Hai (海 hai3), Qiong (琼 qiong2)
  • Hebei (河北 he2 bei3), abbr. Ji (冀 ji4)
  • Heilongjiang (黑龙江 hei1 long2 jiang1), abbr. Hei (黑 hei1)
  • Henan (河南 he2 nan2), abbr. Yu (豫 yu4)
  • Hubei (湖北 hu2 bei3), abbr. E (鄂 e4)
  • Hunan (湖南 hu2 nan2), abbr. Xiang (湘 xiang1)
  • Jiangsu (江苏 jiang1 su1), abbr. Su (苏 su1)
  • Jiangxi (江西 jiang1 xi1), abbr. Gan (赣 gan4)
  • Jilin (吉林 ji2 lin2), abbr. Ji (吉 ji2)
  • Liaoning (辽宁 liao2 ning2), abbr. Liao (辽 liao2)
  • Qinghai (青海 qing1 hai3), abbr. Qing (青 qing1)
  • Shaanxi (陕西 shan3 xi1), abbr. Shan (陕 shan3), Qin (秦 qin2)
  • Shandong (山东 shan1 dong1), abbr. Lu (鲁 lu3)
  • Shanxi (山西 shan1 xi1), abbr. Jin (晋 jin4)
  • Sichuan (四川 si4 chuan1), abbr. Chuan (川 chuan1), Shu (蜀 shu3)
  • Yunnan (云南 yun2 nan2), abbr. Dian (滇 dian1), Yun (云 yun2)
  • Zhejiang (浙江 zhe4 jiang1), abbr. Zhe (浙 zhe4)

Table of contents
1 Disputed Province
2 Autonomous Regions
3 Municipalities
4 Special administratives regions
5 External Links

Defunct Provinces

  • Chahar (察哈爾 cha2 ha1 er3), abbr. (察 cha2)
  • Rehe (熱河 re4 he2), abbr. (熱 re4)
  • Suiyuan (綏遠 sui1 yuan3), abbr. (綏遠 sui1)

Disputed Province

  • Taiwan (traditional: 臺灣; simplified: 台湾 tai2 wan1), abbr. Tai (台 tai2)

The People's Republic of China considers Taiwan, to be its 23rd province. The Republic of China currently controls Taiwan province and Kinmen and Lienchiang counties of Fujian province. The ROC also officially claims all of mainland China (including Tibet) and outer Mongolia. See Political status of Taiwan for more information. Maps of China published in Taiwan will often show provincial boundaries as they were in 1949 which do not match the current administrative structure as decided by the Communist Party of China post-1949.

See also Political divisions of Taiwan.

Autonomous Regions

Apart from provinces there are 5 autonomous regions (自治区 pinyin zi4 zhi4 qu1) being concentrations of some Chinese minorities:

  • Guangxi Zhuang (广西壮族 guang3 xi1 zhuang4 zu2), abbr. Gui (桂 gui4) - home of Zhuang minority
  • Nei Mongol or Inner Mongolia (内蒙古 nei4 meng3 gu3), abbr. Meng (蒙 meng3) - home of Mongol minority
  • Ningxia Hui (宁夏回族 ning2 xia4 hui2 zu2), abbr. Ning (宁 ning2) - home of Hui minority
  • Xinjiang Uighur (新疆维吾尔族 xin1 jiang1 wei2 wu2 'er3 zu2), abbr. Xin (新 xin1); - home of Uighur minority (See also East Turkestan)
  • Xizang or Tibet (西藏 xi1 zang4), abbr. Zang (藏 zang4) - home of Tibetans


4 municipalities (直辖市 pinyin zhi2 xia2 shi4, literal meaning: "directly administrated city (by the central government)"):

Special administratives regions

2 special administrative regions (SAR) (特别行政区 pinyin te4 bie2 xing2 zheng4 qu1):

  • Hong Kong (香港 xiang1 gang3), abbr. Gang (港 gang3)
  • Macao (澳门 ao4 men2), abbr. Ao (澳 ao4)

See also:

External Links

Uniform template for articles of the provinces are upon discussion at Wikipedia:WikiProject Chinese provinces.

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