Special municipality (Taiwan)

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This article is part of
a series on the
Administrative divisions
of the Republic of China
(Taiwan)
In effect
1st Provinces
(省 shěng)
(streamlined)
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)

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.[1]

Position in hierarchy[edit]

Special municipalities are the highest level cities in Taiwan. Some cities of lower levels may also refer to themselves as municipalities.[2] However, refers to them using the following conventional terms:

Three levels of cities in Taiwan:

  1. Special municipalities (直轄市 zhíxiáshì)
  2. Provincial cities (市 shì or 省轄市 shěngxiáshì)
  3. County-controlled cities (縣轄市 xiànxiáshì)

History[edit]

Mainland Era[edit]

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.

Taiwan Era[edit]

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.[3]

Administration[edit]

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[edit]

No. Name Chinese Mandarin
Pinyin
Taiwanese
Pe̍h-oē-jī
Hakka
Pha̍k-fa-sṳ
Population Area (km²) Date of
establishment
Mayor Map
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
Subdivision types of the Republic of China (2010).svg
1
2
3
4
5
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
3 Taichung City 臺中市
台中市
Táizhōng Shì Tâi-tiong-chhī Thòi-chûng-sṳ 2,702,920 2,214.8968 Dec. 25, 2010 Lin Chia-lung
4 Tainan City 臺南市
台南市
Táinán Shì Tâi-lâm-chhī Thòi-nàm-sṳ 1,883,251 2,191.6531 Dec. 25, 2010 William Lai
5 Taipei City 臺北市
台北市
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

Proposals for special municipalities[4][edit]

Changes June 2009
Combined population
Combined area (km²) Map (before) Map (after)
Taipei City + New Taipei City + Keelung CityTaipei City
(臺北市 + 新北市 + 基隆市 → 臺北市)
6,854,715 2,457.1244 Taiwan ROC political division map Taipei City.svg Taiwan ROC political division map Taipei County.svg Taiwan ROC political division map Keelung City.svg Taiwan ROC political division map Taipei City (propose).svg

References[edit]