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A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is a county-level administrative division of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billio ...

People's Republic of China
. County-level cities have
judicial The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is t ...
but no
legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure i ...
rights over their own local law and are usually governed by prefecture-level divisions, but a few are governed directly by province-level divisions. Three of the claim county-level cities are part of the
disputed Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of conflicting opinion or point of view. The word was coined from the Latin ''controversia'', as a composite of ''controversus'' – "turned in an opposite di ...
Taiwan Province Taiwan Province (; PFS: ''Thòi-vàn-sén'' or ''Thòi-vân-sén'') is a nominal administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-lev ...
, but all of them are controlled by the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...

Republic of China
as its provincial cities. A county-level city is a "city" () and "county" () that have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal entity and a county which is an administrative division of a prefecture. Most county-level cities were created in the 1980s and 1990s by replacing denser populated
counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes Chambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
. County-level cities are not "
cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped to ...

cities
" in the strictest sense of the word, since they usually contain rural areas many times the size of their urban, built-up area. This is because the counties that county-level cities have replaced are themselves large administrative units containing towns,
villages A village is a clustered human settlement or Residential community, community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a population typ ...
and farmland. To distinguish a "county-level city" from its actual urban area (the traditional meaning of the word "city"), the term "" (shìqū) or "urban area", is used.


Comparable territorial divisions in other countries

In
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
, an equivalent of a county-level city is an agglomeration community. While the idea of a "city" being a unit consisting of several "towns" is not a common one in English-speaking world, a somewhat similar naming convention is used for
local government areas A local government area (LGA) is an administrative division of a country that a local government is responsible for. The size of an LGA varies by country but it is generally a subdivision of a State (administrative division), state, province, divis ...
in some parts of Australia. For example, in New South Wales such a unit may often be called a "city" (rather than a traditional "shire"), and consist of "towns". E.g.
City of Blue Mountains A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a permanent and s ...
is made of a number of towns ( Katoomba, Springwood, etc.). Another example would be "municipal government" in the Canadian province of Ontario. Small municipalities (cities) and towns, along with urban, sub-urban and rural areas were merged or integrated into a "super" area, in part to obtain economies in administrative overhead by not having for each city and town individual library commissions, fire fighting units, health care, and other social services common to all areas.


List

As of June 2020, there are 391 county-level cities in total:


Sub-prefectural cities

A
sub-prefectural city A sub-prefectural municipality (), sub-prefectural city, or vice-prefectural municipality, is an unofficial designation for a type of administrative division of China. A sub-prefectural city is officially considered to be a county-level city ...
is a county-level city with powers approaching those of
prefecture-level cities A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectu ...
. Examples include,
Xiantao Xiantao () is a sub-prefecture-level city A sub-prefectural municipality (), sub-prefectural city, or vice-prefectural municipality, is an unofficial designation for a type of administrative division of China. A sub-prefectural city is official ...
(
Hubei Hubei (; ; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity ...

Hubei
), Qianjiang (
Hubei Hubei (; ; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity ...

Hubei
),
Tianmen Tianmen () is a sub-prefecture-level city (sometimes considered a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is ...
(
Hubei Hubei (; ; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity ...

Hubei
) and
Jiyuan Jiyuan () is a sub-prefecture-level city in northwestern Henan Henan (; Chinese postal romanization, alternatively Honan) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of China, in the Central China, central part of the country. Henan is of ...

Jiyuan
(
Henan Henan (; ; alternatively Honan) is a landlocked province of China The provincial level administrative divisions () are the highest-level administrative divisions of China. There are 34 such divisions claimed by the People's Republic of ...

Henan
).


See also

*
Administrative divisions of China Due to China's large Demographics of China, population and geographical area, the administrative divisions of China have consisted of several levels since History of the administrative divisions of China, ancient era. The constitution of Chin ...
*
Counties of the People's Republic of China Counties ( zh, t=縣, s=县, hp=Xiàn), formally county-level divisions, are found in the Administrative divisions of China#County level, third level of the administrative hierarchy in Provinces of China, Provinces and Autonomous regions of Ch ...
*
Prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It ...
*
List of cities in China A ''list'' is any set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname) Organizations * List College, an undergraduate division of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America * SC Germania List, German rugby union club Ot ...


References


Understanding the Chinese Economies, Rongxing Guo · 2012
{{DEFAULTSORT:County-Level City Administrative divisions of China *Cou County-level divisions of the People's Republic of China