Special municipality (Taiwan)
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Special municipalities (Chinese: 直轄市; pinyin: zhíxiáshì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ti̍t-hat-chhī) are one of first-level divisions in Taiwan. Currently there are five special municipalities in Taiwan: Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei. In addition, Taoyuan is planning to be approved as the sixth special municipality in 2014. 
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)
In the era, the Republic of China government ruled mainland China, twelve cities were ever assigned as special municipalities. They are
|No||Name||Current place||No||Name||Current place||No||Name||Current place|
|51||Nanking||南京||Nanjing, Jiangsu||55||Tientsin||天津||Municipality of Tianjin||59||Hankou||漢口||Wuhan, Hubei|
|52||Shanghai||上海||Municipality of Shanghai||56||Chungking||重慶||Municipality of Chongqing||60||Canton||廣州||Guangzhou, Guangdong|
|53||Peiping||北平||Municipality of Beijing||57||Dairen||大連||Dalian, Liaoning||61||Sian||西安||Xi'an, Shaanxi|
|54||Tsingtao||青島||Qingdao, Shandong||58||Harbin||哈爾濱||Harbin, Heilongjiang||62||Mukden||瀋陽||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) 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.
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||2,769,083||2,946.2527||Jul. 1, 1979||Chen Chu|
|2||New Taipei City||新北市||Xīnběi shì||Sin-pak-chhī||Sîn-pet-sṳ||3,849,492||2,052.5667||Dec. 25, 2010||Eric Chu|
|Táizhōng shì||Tâi-tiong-chhī||Thòi-chûng-sṳ||2,629,323||2,214.8968||Dec. 25, 2010||Jason Hu|
|Táinán shì||Tâi-lâm-chhī||Thòi-nàm-sṳ||1,873,681||2,191.6531||Dec. 25, 2010||William Lai|
|Táiběi shì||Tâi-pak-chhī||Thòi-pet-sṳ||2,622,933||271.7997||Jul. 1, 1967||Hau Lung-pin|
|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)
|Taoyuan County → Taoyuan City
(桃園縣 → 桃園市)
- Atayal residents worried over Taoyuan's upgrade
- Amendment to Statute For Judicial Mediation In Prefectures, Towns And Cities.
- "桃園縣103年改制直轄市 名為「桃園市」". The Epoch Times. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
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