Political divisions of the Republic of China

From Academic Kids

The Republic of China (ROC) currently administers two historical provinces of China (one completely and one for a small part) and centrally administers two municipalities:

The two provinces have been effectively streamlined in administration, leaving the two centrally administered municipalities, five provincial municipalities, and eighteen counties as the principal divisions of the Republic of China. Additionally, the ROC has not officially renounced its claims over mainland China and Mongolia.Template:ROC divisions levels This results in a division of the mainland into 35 provinces, different from that of the current PRC system.


Structural hierarchy

The number at the end are the amount of entities as of 2004, in areas under ROC control:

  • Municipality (2)
    • District (區) (23)
      • Village (里) (912)
        • Neighborhood (鄰) (17988)
  • Province (2)

The lowest level, the neighbourhood, is not named, but only enumerated (start from one in each village). They number in 146,112 (127,242 in Taiwan Province), under 7,809 villages (6,838 in Taiwan). There are altogether 369 secondary entities (rural and urban townships, districts (of both types of municipalities), and county-administered cities).

There are a number cities and counties which are similarly named, but in the ROC administrative scheme, they are completely separate and unconnected. Tainan City and Tainan County, for example, have no special administrative connection with each other. In most cases, the area designated as the city is much smaller than than the actual metropolitan area, in contrast with the situation on mainland China where the administrative city tends to be larger than the actual metropolitan area.


The romanization used for ROC placenames is Wade-Giles, except "Keelung" and "Quemoy", which are the more popular versions of romanization. "Chiayi" and "Yilan" are slightly modified forms of the Wade-Giles version, "Chia-i" and "I-lan", respectively. After Tongyong Pinyin was adopted by the current administration in 2002, most municipalities, provinces, and county-level entities retained Wade-Giles, with the aforementioned exceptions.


Romanization Chinese Tongyong Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin Wade-Giles
Kaohsiung City 高雄市 GaoSyng Gāoxing Kao1-hsiung2
Taipei City 台北市 TiBěi Tiběi T'ai2-pei3


In Taiwan Province:

Romanization Chinese Tongyong Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin Wade-Giles Capital
Chiayi County 嘉義縣 JiaY Jiāy Chia1-i4 Taibao City
Changhua County 彰化縣 JhangHu Zhānghu Chang1-hua4 Changhua City
Hsinchu County 新竹縣 SinJh Xīnzh Hsin1-chu2 Jhubei City
Hualien County 花蓮縣 HuaLin Huālin Hua1-lien2 Hualien City
Kaohsiung County 高雄縣 GaoSyng Gāoxing Kao1-hsiung2 Fongshan City
Miaoli County 苗栗縣 MioL Miol Miao2-li4 Miaoli City
Nantou County 南投縣 NnTu Nntu Nan2-t'ou2 Nantou City
Penghu County (Pescadores) 澎湖縣 PngH Pngh P'eng2-hu2 Magong City
Pingtung County 屏東縣 PngDong Pngdōng P'ing2-tung1 Pingtung City
Taichung County 台中縣 TiJhong Tizhōng T'ai2-chung1 Fongyuan City
Tainan County 台南縣 TiNn Tinn T'ai2-nan2 Sinying City
Taipei County 台北縣 TiBěi Tiběi T'ai2-pei3 Banciao City
Taitung County 台東縣 TiDong Tidōng T'ai2-tung1 Taitung City
Taoyuan County 桃園縣 ToYun Toyun T'ao2-yan2 Taoyuan City
Yilan County 宜蘭縣 YLn Yln I2-lan2 Yilan City
Yunlin County 雲林縣 YnLn Ynln Yn2-lin2 Douliou City

In Fujian Province (Wade-Giles: Fuchien):

Romanization Chinese Tongyong Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin Wade-Giles Capital
Lienchiang County (Matsu) 連江縣 LinJiang Linjiāng Lien2-chiang1 Nangan Township
Kinmen County (Quemoy) 金門縣 JinMn Jīnmn Chin1-men2 Jincheng Township

Provincial municipalities

In Taiwan Province:

Romanization Chinese Tongyong Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin Wade-Giles
Chiayi City 嘉義市 JiaY Jiāy Chia1-i4
Hsinchu City 新竹市 SinJh Xīnzh Hsin1-chu2
Keelung City 基隆市 JiLng Jīlng Chi1-lung2
Taichung City 台中市 TiJhong Tizhōng T'ai2-chung1
Tainan City 台南市 TiNn Tinn T'ai2-nan2

Political divisions of the Republic of China

Claims over mainland China and Mongolia

Missing image
Maps of the official borders of the Republic of China include mainland China and Mongolia

After its loss of mainland China to the Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War and its exile to Taiwan in 1949, the Kuomintang continued to regard the Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China and hoped to recover the mainland one day. Although in 1991 President Lee Teng-hui stated that the ROC does not challenge the right of the Communist Party of China to rule in the mainland, the ROC has never formally (by means of the National Assembly) renounced sovereignty over mainland China (including Tibet) and Mongolia. Most observers feel that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party would very much prefer to officially renounce such sovereignty. This extremely ambigious situation results in large part because a formal renouncement of sovereignty over mainland China could be taken as a declaration of Taiwan independence, which would be unpopular among some circles on Taiwan and could likely bring about military action by the People's Republic of China.

Accordingly, the official first-order divisions of Republic of China remain the historical divisions of China immediately prior to the loss of mainland China by the KMT with Taipei and Kaohsiung elevated as central municipalities. These are: 35 provinces, 2 areas, 1 special administrative region, 14 centrally-administered (provincial-level) municipalities, 14 leagues, and 4 special banners. For second-order divisions, under provinces and special administrative regions, there are counties, province-controlled cities (56), bureaus (34) and management bureaus (7). Under provincial-level municipalities there are districts, and under leagues there are banners (127).

Maps of China and the world published in Taiwan sometimes show provincial and national boundaries as they were in 1949, not matching the current administrative structure as decided by the Communist Party of China post-1949 and including outer Mongolia and Tuva as part of China (which the PRC has renounced sovereignty over). Recent moves by the DPP administration have been changing maps in school texbooks and official maps issued by the government to reflect the current divisions instituted by the PRC.

Criticism of political divisions

Historically the most controversial part of the political division system of the ROC has been the existence of Taiwan Province as its existence was part of a larger controversy over the political status of Taiwan. In the mid-1990s, the provincial government was essentially stripped of almost all of its authority, but it remains a streamlined entity.

There has been some criticism of the current administrative scheme as being inefficient and inconducive to regional planning. In particular, most of the administrative cities are much smaller than the actual metropolitan areas, and there are no formal means for coordinating policy between an administrative city and its surrounding areas.

However, the likelihood of consolidation remains low. Many of the cities have a political geography which may be very different from its surrounding counties, making the prospect of consolidation to be very politically charged. For example, while the Kuomintang argues that combining Taipei City, Taipei County, and Keelung City into a metropolitan Taipei region would allow for better regional planning, the Democratic Progressive Party argues that this is merely an excuse to eliminate the government of Taipei County, which it controls by swamping it with votes from Taipei City and Keelung City, which tend to vote Kuomintang.

See also

External links


zh:中華民國行政區劃 pt:Subdivises de Taiwan


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