Provincial city (Taiwan)

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This article is part of
a series on the
Administrative divisions
of the Republic of China
In effect
1st Provinces
(省 shěng)
Special municipalities
(直轄市 zhíxiáshì)
2nd Counties
(縣 xiàn)
Provincial cities
(市 shì)
3rd Districts
(區 qū)
County-controlled cities
(縣轄市 xiànxiáshì)
Urban townships
(鎮 zhèn)
Rural townships
(鄉 xiāng)
4th Urban villages
(里 lǐ)
Rural villages
(村 cūn)
5th Neighborhoods
(鄰 lín)

Provincial cities (Chinese: ; pinyin: shì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: chhī), sometimes translated provincial municipalities, are cities lesser in rank than special municipalities of the Republic of China (Taiwan). They are governed by provinces directly and are one level above the most basic county-controlled cities.

In the early 20th century, the criteria of being a provincial municipality, as stated in Laws on the City Formation (市組織法) of the Republic of China, included being the provincial capital as well as having a population of over 200,000, or over 100,000 if the city had particular significance in politics, economics, and culture.

After relocating the government to Taiwan, where many cities considered to be insignificant[weasel words] had large populations, the Republic of China government raised the limit to 500,000 in 1981 in the Scheme on the Local Rules in Various Counties and Cities of Taiwan Province (臺灣省各縣市實施地方自治綱要). It was later raised again to 600,000.

Provincial cities in Taiwan[edit]

There are currently three provincial municipalities, administered by the Republic of China:

English Chinese Pinyin Wade–Giles Pe̍h-ōe-jī Pha̍k-fa-sṳ Area City Seat Mayor
Chiayi City 嘉義市 Jiāyì Chia¹-i⁴ Ka-gī Kâ-ngi 60.03 km² East District 東區 Huang Min-hui
Hsinchu City 新竹市 Xīnzhú Hsin¹-chu² Sin-tek Sîn-tsuk 104.10 km² North District 北區 Hsu Ming-tsai
Keelung City 基隆市 Jīlóng Chi¹-lung² Ke-lâng Kî-lùng 132.76 km² Zhongzheng District 中正區 Chang Tong-rong


Date Addition Removal No. Description
October, 1945 Changhua, Chiayi, Hsinchu,
Kaohsiung, Keelung, Pingtung, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei[1]
9 Reform from the prefecture-controlled cities in the period under Japanese rule.
August 16, 1950 Chiayi 8 merged into Chiayi County and became a county-controlled city
December 1, 1951 Changhua, Hsinchu, Pingtung 5 downgraded to county-controlled cities
July 1, 1967 Taipei 4 upgraded to a special municipality
July 1, 1979 Kaohsiung 3 upgraded to a special municipality
July 1, 1982 Chiayi, Hsinchu 5 upgraded from county-controlled cities
December 25, 2010 Taichung, Tainan 3 merge with Taichung County and Tainan County, and upgraded to special municipalities
Provincial cities in existence: Chiayi, Hsinchu, Keelung (3).

The provincial city hierarchy will be abolished in 2014 under President Ma Ying-jeou's "Three municipalities and 15 counties" scheme if the plan goes through. Keelung is planned to be merged with Taipei, while Hsinchu and Chiayi will annexed into their respective counties (Hsinchu County and Chiayi County) and become county-controlled cities.

Their districts will become the districts within a special municipality, which has a status equivalent to a province.[clarification needed]

See also[edit]