Administrative Division in China

By | September 27, 2021

Territorially, China is divided into 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions (Guangxi Zhuang , Inner Mongolia , Ningxia Hui , Sinkiang , Tibet) and 4 provincial cities (Beijing , Shanghai , Tianjin , Chongqing) which are directly governed by the government. In the provinces and the subordinate counties and small towns there are local people’s congresses as representatives of the people and people’s governments, the members of which are formally elected by the respective people’s congresses and de facto determined by the CCP committees. Special Administrative Regions are Hong Kong and Macau. According to best-medical-schools, the most import cities in China also include Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Administrative division (2015)
Administrative unit *) Area (in 1,000 km 2) Population(in millions) Residents(per km 2) capital city
urban areas directly under the government
Beijing 16.8 21.7 1 292
Shanghai 6.2 24.2 3 895
Tientsin (Tianjin) 11.3 15.5 1 369
Chongqing 82.0 30.2 368
Anhui 139.9 61.4 439 Hefei
Fujian 123.1 38.4 312 Fuzhou
Gansu 366.5 26.0 71 Lanzhou
Guangdong 197.1 108.5 550 Canton (Guangzhou)
Guizhou 174.0 35.3 203 Guiyang
Hainan 34.3 9.1 266 Haikou
Hebei 202.7 74.2 366 Shijiazhuang
Heilongjiang 463.6 38.1 82 Harbin
Henan 167.0 94.8 568 Zhengzhou
Hubei 187.5 58.5 312 Wuhan
Hunan 210.5 67.8 322 Changsha
Jiangsu 102.6 79.8 777 Nanking (Nanjing)
Jiangxi 164.8 45.7 277 Nanchang
Jilin 187.0 27.5 147 Changchun
Liaoning 151.0 43.8 290 Shenyang
Qinghai 721.0 5.9 8th Xining
Shaanxi 195.8 37.9 194 Xi’an
Shandong 153.3 98.5 642 Jinan
Shanxi 157.1 36.6 233 Taiyuan
Sichuan 487.0 82.0 168 Cheng you
Yunnan 436.2 47.4 109 Kunming
Zhejiang 101.8 55.4 544 Hangzhou
autonomous areas
Guangxi Zhuang 220.4 48.0 218 Nanning
Inner Mongolia 1,177.5 25.1 21 Hohhot
Ningxia Hui 66.4 6.7 101 Yinchuan
Sinkiang (Xinjiang) 1,646.9 23.6 14th Urumqi
Tibet 1,221.6 3.2 3 Lhasa
*) excluding Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions


China has a legal culture that is thousands of years old, the traces of which can be traced back to the 21st century before the birth of Christ. The oldest legal code, which is directly documented by archaeological finds, dates to the year 217 BC. Traditional Chinese legal thought was shaped by the controversy between the Confucians on the one hand and the lawyer on the other. The former advocated the order of society through moral norms (li), the latter for regulation through purpose-oriented laws (fa). Traditional Chinese law was a synthesis of these two schools of thought: the moral norms formed the main element of the legal system, while the laws mainly contained penal norms to safeguard the moral norms. In terms of content, the moral norms were characterized by status-dependent inequality and duty of obedience. Western legal thinking gained no influence in China before the beginning of the 20th century.

The military defeats of China and the political pressure of the Western powers led from 1904 to a gradual reform of the legal and judicial system based on the continental European, especially the German, model. The laws enacted by the national government in the 1930s (including civil and penal codes) apply e.g. Some of them still in Taiwan today. The People’s Republic of China repealed the law of the national government in 1949 and did not enact procedural, civil or non-political criminal law until 1978. In this phase the law and the judiciary were oriented towards the Soviet Union and were instruments of the “class struggle”. In the criminal process, the political principles of the Communist Party became an essential basis for decision-making; civil disputes were settled through arbitration.

From 1979 the legal and judicial system was systematically built up and expanded. The aim was to implement the rule of law and create a prosperous economic order. These include the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure (1979), the Code of Civil Procedure (1982), the General Principles of Civil Law (1986), the Administrative Procedure Act (1989), the Contract Act (1999), the Legislative Act (2000) and the Property Law Act (2007) which, however, hardly changed anything in the state monopoly on land.

People’s courts exist on four levels with the Supreme People’s Court as the highest instance. The system of two instances applies. The Supreme People’s Court has i.a. the task of overseeing the jurisdiction of the lower courts and interpreting legal provisions of the central government. Since 2007, death sentences have to be confirmed by the Supreme People’s Court. China is at the fore in the world when it comes to imposing and executing the death penalty. In addition to the people’s courts, there are also special dishes such as B. Military, railway, water transport and forest courts. The administration of justice is severely impaired by corruption, local protectionism and political influence.

In Hong Kong (Chinese since 1997) and Macau (since 1999 Chinese) there is still a mainly BASED on English or Portuguese law legal system.



Industry in Beijing only developed to a greater extent after 1949, and its production is now in second place in terms of value nationwide (after Shanghai). The newer industrial plants are mostly in the east, the older ones in the west of the city. Heavy industry is dominant with iron and steel production, machine, motor vehicle, locomotive and wagon construction as well as the petrochemical industry (including oil refinery with pipeline from Daqing); the light industry mainly includes electrotechnical and electronic, textile (especially cotton processing), printing and food industries. In addition, there is an extensive artisanal production of porcelain, ivory and jade carvings, copper dishes, carpets, lace and others. The energy is supplied by several thermal power plants (coal production near Beijing). In the outlying areas, agriculture is practiced, especially vegetable and fruit growing, cotton and peanut cultivation as well as small animal husbandry (especially ducks). Numerous environmentally harmful companies have been relocated from the inner city area, but smog still prevails on a regular basis. In December 2015, it became the highest for the first time Smog alarm level declared: Schools and factories were e.g. Sometimes closed, many drivers were banned from driving.

In addition to the traditional government functions, the city is to develop as a leading trade and service center, especially since consumer behavior has changed radically due to increased purchasing power. The number of private and chain stores has grown rapidly since 1992; from 1995 foreign retail chains were also allowed to set up branches in Beijing. Housing conditions have improved considerably; the living space per capita was around 5 m 2 in the 1950s and is currently around 15 m 2. However, increasing social differences cannot be overlooked. The increased importance of the capital has also triggered considerable growth in construction and space. The structural expansion between 1982 and 2000 reduced the agricultural area by about a third. In 2008 Beijing hosted the XXIX. Summer Olympics.


Beijing is a hub of the road and rail network and has the largest international airport in the country (northeast of the city). Tong Xian, east of the city, is the northern end point of the Imperial Canal. A subway has been used for inner-city traffic since 1969 (expansion of the route network).

Administrative Division in China