Province (China): Wikis


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Administrative divisions
of the People's Republic
of China
This article is part of the
Political divisions of China
Province level
Autonomous regions
Special Administrative
Regions (SARs)
History of its political divisions
Prefecture level
Autonomous prefectures
Prefecture-level cities
Sub-provincial cities
County level
Autonomous counties
County-level cities
Sub-prefecture-level cities
City districts
Autonomous banners
Township level
Townships (ethnic)
Sumu (ethnic)
County districts
Village level

A province, in the context of Chinese government, is a translation of sheng (Chinese: pinyin: shěng), which is an administrative division. Together with municipalities, autonomous regions, and the special administrative regions, provinces make up the first level (known as the province level) of administrative division in China.[1] Provinces are also the first level division of the Republic of China, commonly called "Taiwan", though this role has been diminished.

The People's Republic of China (PRC) currently controls 22 provinces. The PRC also claims, but does not control, Taiwan as a 23rd province. The Republic of China (ROC) controls Taiwan, as well as some offshore islands including Kinmen and Matsu, which form part of Fujian province.

In the People's Republic of China, every province has a Communist Party of China provincial committee, headed by a secretary. The committee secretary is first-in-charge of the province, rather than the governor of the provincial government.


Map and list of provinces

Administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China. Note: this map depicts only provinces of the People's Republic of China, which are not synchronized with the actual administrative divisions of the Republic of China. The People's Republic of China (PRC) controls mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao while the Republic of China controls Taiwan and nearby islands.

Map of provinces (省; shěng) of the People's Republic of China
Click any province in yellow or lavender for more info. Go here for image description.
Qinghai Gansu Sichuan Yunnan Shaanxi Guizhou Shanxi Henan Hubei Hunan Guangdong Hainan Hebei Heilongjiang Jilin Liaoning Shandong Jiangsu Anhui Zhejiang Jiangxi Fujian Taiwan (Claimed) China provinces numbered.svg
About this image
Province of the People's Republic of China[2]
Map # Name Chinese (T) Chinese (S) Pinyin Postal map Abb.¹ Area² Capital
GDP (Nominal)
2008 Millom USD
GDP (Nominal)
per capita USD
Region ISO Admin.
1 Heilongjiang Hēilóngjiāng Heilungkiang hēi 454,000 Harbin 119,800 3,131 Northeast CN-23 List
2 Jilin Jílín Kirin 187,400 Changchun 92,600 3,388 Northeast CN-22 List
3 Liaoning Liáoníng Fengtien liáo 145,900 Shenyang 194,000 4,506 Northeast CN-21 List
4 Qinghai Qīnghǎi Tsinghai qīng 721,200 Xining 西 13,900 2,506 Northwest CN-63 List
5 Gansu Gānsù Kansu gān or lǒng 454,300 Lanzhou 44,700 1,745 Northwest CN-62 List
6 Shaanxi 西 西 Shǎnxī Shensi shǎn or qín 205,600 Xi'an 西 98,700 2,629 Northwest CN-61 List
7 Shanxi 西 西 Shānxī Shansi jìn 156,300 Taiyuan 100,000 2,925 North CN-14 List
8 Hebei Héběi Hopeh 187,700 Shijiazhuang 233,084 3,348 North CN-13 List
9 Sichuan Sìchuān Szechuan chuān or shǔ 485,000 Chengdu 180,200 2,216 Southwest CN-51 List
10 Hubei Húběi Hupeh è 185,900 Wuhan 163,300 2,865 South Central CN-42 List
11 Henan Hénán Honan 167,000 Zhengzhou 265,035 2,823 South Central CN-41 List
12 Shandong Shāndōng Shantung 153,800 Jinan 447,375 4,767 East CN-37 List
13 Anhui Ānhuī Anhwei wǎn 139,700 Hefei 139,400 2,123 East CN-34 List
14 Jiangsu Jiāngsū Kiangsu 102,600 Nanjing 436,441 5,695 East CN-32 List
15 Yunnan Yúnnán Yunnan diān or yún 394,000 Kunming 82,200 1,840 Southwest CN-53 List
16 Guizhou Gùizhōu Kweichow qián or gùi 176,000 Guiyang 176,100 1,293 Southwest CN-52 List
17 Hunan Húnán Hunan xiāng 210,000 Changsha 160,800 2,823 South Central CN-43 List
18 Jiangxi 西 西 Jiāngxī Kiangsi gàn 167,000 Nanchang 95,294 5,695 East CN-36 List
19 Zhejiang Zhèjiāng Chekiang zhè 102,000 Hangzhou 309,369 6,082 East CN-33 List
20 Hainan Hǎinán Hainan qióng 34,000 Haikou 13,100 2,475 South Central CN-46 List
21 Guangdong 广 Guǎngdōng Kwangtung yuè 180,000 Guangzhou 广 513,957 5,416 South Central CN-44 List
22 Fujian Fújiàn Fukien mǐn 121,300 Fuzhou 156,000 4,341 East CN-35 List
23 Taiwan Táiwān Taiwan tái 35,581 Taipei 383,347 17,040 East CN-71 List


¹: Abbreviation for each Provinces
²: in km²
†: Since its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China has considered Taiwan Province to be its 23rd province even though it has never controlled any part of Taiwan. The Republic of China currently controls this area, which consists of Taiwan island and the Pescadores. The ROC also controls one county of Fujian (or Fukien) province: Jinmen (Kinmen); and part of a second county: Lienchiang.


The provinces of China were first set up during the Yuan Dynasty. There were initially 10 provinces. By the time the Qing Dynasty was established, there were 18, all of which were in China proper. These were:

For every province, there was a xunfu (巡撫), a political overseer on behalf of the emperor, and a tidu (提督), a military governor. In addition, there was a zongdu (總督), a general military inspector or governor general, for every two to three provinces.

Outer regions of China (those beyond China proper) were not divided into provinces. Manchuria (consisting of Fengtian (now Liaoning), Jilin, Heilongjiang), Xinjiang, and Mongolia were overseen by military leaders or generals (將軍) and vice-dutong (副都統), and civilian leaders were heads of the leagues (盟長), a subdivision of Mongolia. Tibet was administratively overseen by the ambans (驻藏大臣).

In 1878, Xinjiang became a province, in 1909, Fengtian, Jilin, and Heilongjiang were made provinces as well. Taiwan was made a province in 1887, but it was ceded to Japan in 1895. As a result, there were 22 provinces in China (Outer China and China proper) near the end of the Qing Dynasty.

The Republic of China, established in 1912, set up 4 more provinces in Inner Mongolia and 2 provinces in historic Tibet, bringing the total to 28. 4 provinces were however lost with the establishment of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo in Manchuria. After the defeat of Japan in World War II, Manchuria was reincorporated as 10 provinces, and control of Taiwan was assumed by the Republic of China. As a result, the Republic of China had 35 provinces. Although the Republic of China now only controls Taiwan and some islands of a Fujian, it continues to formally claim all 35 provinces.


List of defunct provinces

Name Chinese (T) Chinese (S) Pinyin Postal map Area (km²) Capital Region Present Annexation
Andong 安東 安东 Āndōng Antung 62,279 Tonghua Northeast Liaoning, Jilin
Chahar 察哈爾 察哈尔 Cháhār Chahar 278,957 Zhangjiakou Northeast Inner Mongolia, Hebei
Hejiang 合江 合江 Héjiāng Hokiang 135,406 Jiamusi Northeast Heilongjiang
Liaobei 遼北 辽北 Liáoběi Liaopeh 121,624 Liaoyuan Northeast Liaoning, Jilin, Inner Mongolia
Nenjiang 嫩江 嫩江 Nènjiāng Nunkiang 67,034 Qiqihar Northeast Heilongjiang
Rehe 熱河 热河 Rèhé Jehol 179,982 Chengde Northeast Hebei, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia
Songjiang 松江 松江 Sōngjiāng Sungkiang 84,559 Mudanjiang Northeast Heilongjiang
Suiyuan 綏遠 绥远 Suíyuǎn Suiyuan 329,397 Guisui (Hohhot) Northeast Inner Mongolia
Xikang 西康 西康 Xīkāng Sikang 451,521 Kangding Southwest Tibet, Sichuan
Xing'an 興安 兴安 Xīng'ān Hsingan 278,437 Hailar Northeast Inner Mongolia

The People's Republic of China abolished many of the provinces in the 1950s and converted a number of them into autonomous regions. Hainan was set up as a separate province in 1988, bringing the total number of provinces under its control to 22.


  1. ^ Administrative divisions of China
  2. ^ References and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual provincial articles.

See also

External links


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