Special municipality (Taiwan)
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of the Republic of China
Special municipalities (Chinese: 直轄市; pinyin: zhíxiáshì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ti̍t-hat-chhī, lit. direct-controlled municipalities) are cities in the Republic of China (Taiwan) that have the rank of province. Along with Taiwan and Fujian provinces, the special municipalities are the first-order administrative divisions of Taiwan. Currently there are six special municipalities in Taiwan: Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei and Taoyuan.
Position in hierarchy
Special municipalities are the highest level cities in Taiwan. Some cities of lower levels may also refer to themselves as municipalities. However, refers to them using the following conventional terms:
- Special municipalities (直轄市 zhíxiáshì)
- Provincial cities (市 shì or 省轄市 shěngxiáshì)
- County-controlled cities (縣轄市 xiànxiáshì)
During Republic of China government rule in mainland China, twelve cities were elevated as special municipalities. They were:
|No||Name||Current place||No||Name||Current place||No||Name||Current place|
|51||Nanking City||南京市||Nanjing, Jiangsu||55||Tientsin City||天津市||Municipality of Tianjin||59||Hankou City||漢口市||Wuhan, Hubei|
|52||Shanghai City||上海市||Municipality of Shanghai||56||Chungking City||重慶市||Municipality of Chongqing||60||Canton City||廣州市||Guangzhou, Guangdong|
|53||Peiping City||北平市||Municipality of Beijing||57||Dairen City||大連市||Dalian, Liaoning||61||Sian City||西安市||Xi'an, Shaanxi|
|54||Tsingtao City||青島市||Qingdao, Shandong||58||Harbin City||哈爾濱市||Harbin, Heilongjiang||62||Mukden City||瀋陽市||Shenyang, Liaoning|
The system of top-level municipality were designed in 1927 soon after they were designated as "cities" during the 1920s. These cities were first called special municipalities/cities (Chinese: 特別市; pinyin: tébíeshì), but were later renamed Yuan-controlled municipalities (Chinese: 院轄市; pinyin: yùanxíashì), by the Central Government.
Five special municipalities in Taiwan were created after the Republic of China government took control following World War II. Taipei was made a Yuan-controlled municipality in 1967; Kaohsiung was elevated in 1979; New Taipei, Taichung and Tainan also elevated to special municipality in 2010. Since 1994, Yuan-controlled municipalities (院轄市 yuànxiáshì) have been officially called special municipality (直轄市 zhíxiáshì, lit. direct-controlled municipalities) to emphasize their autonomy. Besides significant political, economic and cultural development, the ROC law dictates that a municipality must have population of over 1,250,000 people.
In Taiwanese municipalities, the mayor is the highest-ranking official in charge. The mayor is directly elected by the people registered in the municipality for a duration of four years.
Current special municipalities
|Population||Area (km²)||Date of
|1||Kaohsiung City||高雄市||Gāoxióng Shì||Ko-hiông-chhī||Kô-hiùng-sṳ||2,779,790||2,946.2527||Jul. 1, 1979||Chen Chu|
|2||New Taipei City||新北市||Xīnběi Shì||Sin-pak-chhī||Sîn-pet-sṳ||3,955,777||2,052.5667||Dec. 25, 2010||Eric Chu|
|Táizhōng Shì||Tâi-tiong-chhī||Thòi-chûng-sṳ||2,702,920||2,214.8968||Dec. 25, 2010||Lin Chia-lung|
|Táinán Shì||Tâi-lâm-chhī||Thòi-nàm-sṳ||1,883,251||2,191.6531||Dec. 25, 2010||William Lai|
|Táiběi Shì||Tâi-pak-chhī||Thòi-pet-sṳ||2,688,140||271.7997||Jul. 1, 1967||Ko Wen-je|
|6||Taoyuan City||桃園市||Táoyuán Shì||Thô-hng-chhī||Thò-yèn-sṳ||2,038,147||1,220.9540||Dec. 25, 2014||Cheng Wen-tsan|
|Combined area (km²)||Map (before)||Map (after)|
|Taipei City + New Taipei City + Keelung City → Taipei City
(臺北市 + 新北市 + 基隆市 → 臺北市)