Province of China
|This article is part|
of the series:
Political divisions of China
|Special Administrative Regions|
|(incl. Sub-provincial cities)|
|(incl. Sub-prefecture-level cities)|
|District public offices|
A province, in the context of China, is a translation of sheng (省 shěng), which is an administrative division of China. Together with municipalities and autonomous regions, provinces make up the first level (known as the province level) of administrative division in Mainland China. The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are officially considered to be province-level as well, though in reality they have much more autonomy than regular provinces, autonomous regions, or municipalities.
The People's Republic of China currently administers 22 provinces, out of a total of 33 province level divisions, and claims a 23rd province, Taiwan Province. The Republic of China administers the entirety of Taiwan Province, as well as some offshore islands of Fujian province, and two municipalities (Taipei and Kaohsiung).
In the PRC, 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.
Table of contents
List and map
|Name||Chinese (S)||pinyin||Abbreviation||Capital||List of county-level divisions|
|Anhui||安徽||Ānhuī||皖 wǎn||Hefei||List of county-level divisions|
|Fujian||福建||Fújiàn||闽 mǐn||Fuzhou||List of county-level divisions|
|Gansu||甘肃||Gānsù||甘 gān or 陇 lǒng||Lanzhou||List of county-level divisions|
|Guangdong||广东||Guǎngdōng||粤 yuè||Guangzhou||List of county-level divisions|
|Guizhou||贵州||Guìzhōu||黔 qián or 贵 guì||Guiyang||List of county-level divisions|
|Hainan||海南||Hǎinán||琼 qióng||Haikou||List of county-level divisions|
|Hebei||河北||Héběi||冀 jì||Shijiazhuang||List of county-level divisions|
|Heilongjiang||黑龙江||Hēilóngjiāng||黑 hēi||Harbin||List of county-level divisions|
|Henan||河南||Hénán||豫 yù||Zhengzhou||List of county-level divisions|
|Hubei||湖北||Húběi||鄂 è||Wuhan||List of county-level divisions|
|Hunan||湖南||Húnán||湘 xiāng||Changsha||List of county-level divisions|
|Jiangsu||江苏||Jiāngsū||苏 sū||Nanjing||List of county-level divisions|
|Jiangxi||江西||Jiāngxī||赣 gàn||Nanchang||List of county-level divisions|
|Jilin||吉林||Jílín||吉 jí||Changchun||List of county-level divisions|
|Liaoning||辽宁||Liáoníng||辽 liáo||Shenyang||List of county-level divisions|
|Qinghai||青海||Qīnghǎi||青 qīng||Xining||List of county-level divisions|
|Shaanxi||陕西||Shǎnxī||陕 shǎn or 秦 qín||Xi'an||List of county-level divisions|
|Shandong||山东||Shāndōng||鲁 lǔ||Jinan||List of county-level divisions|
|Shanxi||山西||Shānxī||晋 jìn||Taiyuan||List of county-level divisions|
|Sichuan||四川||Sìchuān||川 chuān or 蜀 shǔ||Chengdu||List of county-level divisions|
|Yunnan||云南||Yúnnán||滇 diān or 云 yún||Kunming||List of county-level divisions|
|Zhejiang||浙江||Zhèjiāng||浙 zhè||Hangzhou||List of county-level divisions|
For every province, there was a xunfu (巡撫), a political overseer on behalf of the emperor behalf 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-tudong (副都統), and civilian leaders were heads of the leagues (盟長), a subdivision of Mongolia.
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 Taiwan was also returned to China. As a result, the Republic of China had 35 provinces. Although the Republic of China now only controls one province (Taiwan Province) and some islands of a second province (Fujian), it continues to claim (in theory at least) 35 provinces.
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 to 22.