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List of Chinese provinces and regions

China has a fairly complex political system. Most of it is broken up into provinces, but there are several other sorts of thing at the same level of the hierarchy as provinces:

  • Various ethnic groups have autonomous regions, although their autonomy is far from complete. For the traveller, these can generally be thought of as provinces, but in political discussions (best avoided!) the distinction may be important.
  • Some of the larger municipalities are not part of provinces, but independent entities whose leaders report direct to Beijing
  • Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions (SARs). Capitalist economies are allowed to flourish there under the slogan "One country, two systems". The SARs have their own currencies and issue their own visas.

A full list of these divisions is:

Province — capital

  • Anhui (安徽) — Hefei
  • Fujian (福建) — Fuzhou
  • Gansu (甘肃) — Lanzhou
  • Guangdong (广东) — Guangzhou
  • Guizhou (贵州) — Guiyang
  • Hainan (海南) — Haikou
  • Hebei (河北) — Shijiazhuang
  • Heilongjiang (黑龙江) — Harbin
  • Henan (河南) — Zhengzhou
  • Hubei (湖北) — Wuhan
  • Hunan (湖南) — Changsha
  • Jiangsu (江苏) — Nanjing
  • Jiangxi (江西) — Nanchang
  • Jilin (吉林) — Changchun
  • Liaoning (辽宁) — Shenyang
  • Qinghai (青海) — Xining
  • Shaanxi (陕西) — Xian
  • Shandong (山东) — Jinan
  • Shanxi (山西) — Taiyuan
  • Sichuan (四川) — Chengdu
  • Yunnan (云南) — Kunming
  • Zhejiang (浙江) — Hangzhou

Autonomous region — capital

  • Guangxi Zhuang (广西壮族) — Nanning
  • Inner Mongolia (内蒙古) — Hohhot
  • Ningxia Hui (宁夏回族) — Yinchuan
  • Xinjiang Uighur (新疆维吾尔族) — Urumqi
  • Tibet (西藏) — Lhasa


Municipalities


Special Administrative Regions

  • Hong Kong (香港)
  • Macau (澳门)
  • In pairs Guangxi/Guangdong and Shanxi/Shandong, xi is West and dong is East
  • In pairs Hunan/Hubei and Henan/Hebei, nan is South and bei is North.

Development zones

There are also Special Economic Zones (SEZs} set up to encourage development and foreign investment with tax concessions and other government measures. These areas tend to be prosperous, to have large expat communities, and to have more Western restaurants and facilities. They are:

  • Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou in Guangdong
  • Xiamen in Fujian
  • the entire island province of Hainan
  • Pudong in Shanghai

There are also many other areas where investment is encouraged. The national government has a program that opens up 14 coastal cities and all the capitals of inland provinces or autonomous regions for investment. There are also many provincial programs. However, the SEZs remain the major hotbeds of activity.


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This article is based on information from an article on Wikitravel contributed by
Jian Huang, Mitja Podreka, Dayong Gu, Sandy Harris and user(s) of Wikitravel and is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0

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