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Provinces of China


CategoryUnitary state
Location People's Republic of China
Number22 (1 claimed)
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Tibetan name
Zhuang name
Mongolian name
Mongolian scriptᠮᠤᠵᠢ
Uyghur name
Manchu name
Manchu scriptᡤᠣᠯᠣ

Provinces (Chinese: ; pinyin: Shěng) and one province that is claimed, but not administered, which is Taiwan, currently administered.

The local governments of Chinese provinces consists of a Provincial People's Government headed by a governor that acts as the executive, a Provincial People's Congress with legislative powers, and a parallel provincial branch of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that elects a Party Secretary and a Provincial Standing Committee.


Provinces are the most common form of province-level governments. The legislative bodies of the provinces are the Provincial People's Congresses. The executive branch is the Provincial People's Government, led by a governor. The People's Government is answerable to both the State Council and the Provincial People's Congress. The provincial branch of the CCP has a Provincial Party Congress every five years, and elects a Standing Committee to exercise its authority when not in session. The Provincial Party Secretary is the de facto most important position in the province.[1][2][3]


The first provinces were created in the Yuan dynasty, and have remained one of the most stable forms of Chinese government since then.[4] They were created to help the Imperial court manage local county governments, which were too numerous and far-flung to be managed directly.[5] The number of provinces grew steadily during subsequent dynasties, reaching 28 by the time of the Republic of China.[6] During the Warlord Era, provinces became largely or completely autonomous and exercised significant national influence. Province-level units proliferated and under the early People's Republic there were over 50.[7] Political boundaries are, in part, established to counterbalance the influence of economic factors. For instance, the Yangtze Delta is divided among the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui. This division ensures that economic strength is distributed, preventing any single region from potentially overpowering the state.[8]

List of provinces

GB/T 2260-2007[9] ISO[10] Province Chinese
Hanyu Pinyin
Capital Population
(per km2)
HE CN-HE Hebei 河北省
Héběi Shěng
Shijiazhuang 74,610,235 393.08 189,809
SX CN-SX Shanxi 山西省
Shānxī Shěng
Taiyuan 34,915,616 222.80 156,713
LN CN-LN Liaoning 辽宁省
Liáoníng Shěng
Shenyang 42,591,407 289.59 147,076
JL CN-JL Jilin 吉林省
Jílín Shěng
Changchun 24,073,453 126.51 190,282
HL CN-HL Heilongjiang 黑龙江省
Hēilóngjiāng Shěng
Harbin 31,850,088 67.37 472,766
JS CN-JS Jiangsu 江苏省
Jiāngsū Shěng
Nanjing 84,748,016 847.91 99,949
ZJ CN-ZJ Zhejiang 浙江省
Zhèjiāng Shěng
Hangzhou 64,567,588 615.67 104,873
AH CN-AH Anhui 安徽省
Ānhuī Shěng
Hefei 61,027,171 436.29 139,879
FJ CN-FJ Fujian[b] 福建省
Fújiàn Shěng
Fuzhou 41,540,086 335.66 123,756
JX CN-JX Jiangxi 江西省
Jiāngxī Shěng
Nanchang 45,188,635 270.69 166,939
SD CN-SD Shandong 山东省
Shāndōng Shěng
Jinan 101,527,453 643.78 157,704
HA CN-HA Henan 河南省
Hénán Shěng
Zhengzhou 99,365,519 600.52 165,467
HB CN-HB Hubei 湖北省
Húběi Shěng
Wuhan 57,752,557 310.87 185,776
HN CN-HN Hunan 湖南省
Húnán Shěng
Changsha 66,444,864 313.65 211,842
GD CN-GD Guangdong[c] 广东省
Guǎngdōng Shěng
Guangzhou 126,012,510 700.02 180,013
HI CN-HI Hainan[d] 海南省
Hǎinán Shěng
Haikou 10,081,232 294.27 34,259
SC CN-SC Sichuan 四川省
Sìchuān Shěng
Chengdu 83,674,866 174.93 484,056 川(蜀)
Chuān (Shǔ)
GZ CN-GZ Guizhou 贵州省
Guìzhōu Shěng
Guiyang 38,562,148 218.93 176,140 贵(黔)
Guì (Qián)
YN CN-YN Yunnan 云南省
Yúnnán Shěng
Kunming 47,209,277 123.20 383,195 云(滇)
Yún (Diān)
SN CN-SN Shaanxi 陕西省
Shǎnxī Shěng
Xi'an 39,528,999 192.24 205,624 陕(秦)
Shǎn (Qín)
GS CN-GS Gansu 甘肃省
Gānsù Shěng
Lanzhou 25,019,831 54.70 457,382 甘(陇)
Gān (Lǒng)
QH CN-QH Qinghai 青海省
Qīnghǎi Shěng
Xining 5,923,957 8.58 690,355
TW CN-TW[e] Taiwan[f] 台湾省
Táiwān Shěng
Taipei 23,162,123 650.97 36,161 台(臺)
  1. ^ Abbreviation in the parentheses is informal
  2. ^ Most of the Fujian is administered by the People's Republic of China, but the Republic of China governs Kinmen County and Lienchiang County under its own Fujian Province.
  3. ^ Most of the Guangdong is administered by the People's Republic of China, but the Republic of China governs Pratas Island as part of the Hainan Special administrative region, which is currently administered by Kaohsiung City.
  4. ^ Most of the Hainan is administered by the People's Republic of China, while the Republic of China governs Taiping Island as part of the Hainan Special administrative region, which is currently administered by Kaohsiung City.
  5. ^ Has separate ISO 3166-2 code: TW
  6. ^ The People's Republic of China considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province, but Taiwan is currently administrated by the Republic of China. For more information, see the political status of Taiwan.

See also


  1. ^ Goodman 2015, p. 96.
  2. ^ Saich 2015, pp. 157–158.
  3. ^ Chung & Lam 2010, Chapter 2.
  4. ^ Guo 2017, p. 23.
  5. ^ Fitzgerald 2002, p. 16.
  6. ^ Goodman 2015, pp. 150, 154.
  7. ^ Goodman 2015, pp. 153–154.
  8. ^ Fairbank, John; Goldman, Merle (2006). China: A New History. Harvard University Press. p. 11. ISBN 0674116739.
  9. ^ "GB/T 2260 codes for the provinces of China". Archived from the original on 2004-03-05. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  10. ^ ISO 3166-2:CN (ISO 3166-2 codes for the provinces of China)


  • Goodman, David S.G. (2015). Handbook of the Politics of China. Northampton, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
  • Saich, Tony (2015). Governance and Politics of China (Fourth ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Chung, Jae Ho; Lam, Chiu (2010). China's Local Administration: Traditions and Changes in the Sub-National Hierarchy. New York: Routledge.
  • Fitzgerald, John (2002). Rethinking China's Provinces. New York: Routledge.
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Provinces of China
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