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The special administrative regions (SAR) are one type of provincial-level administrative divisions of China
China
directly under Central People's Government, which enjoys the highest degree of autonomy, and no or less interference by either Central Government or the Chinese Communist Party. The legal basis for the establishment of SARs, unlike the administrative divisions of Mainland China, is provided for by Article 31, rather than Article 30, of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China
China
of 1982. Article 31 reads: "The state may establish special administrative regions when necessary.[3][4][5] The systems to be instituted in special administrative regions shall be prescribed by law enacted by the National People's Congress
National People's Congress
in the light of the specific conditions".[6] At present, there are two SARs established according to the Constitution, namely the Hong Kong
Hong Kong
SAR and the Macau
Macau
SAR, former British and Portuguese dependencies respectively,[7] transferred to China
China
in 1997 and 1999 respectively pursuant to the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 and the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration of 1987 . Pursuant to their Joint Declarations, which are binding inter-state treaties registered with the United Nations, and their Basic laws, the Chinese SARs "shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy."[8] There is additionally the Wolong Special Administrative Region
Wolong Special Administrative Region
in Sichuan province, which is however not established according to Article 31 of the Constitution. Generally, the two SARs are not considered to constitute a part of Mainland China, by both Chinese and SAR authorities. The provision to establish special administrative regions appeared in the constitution in 1982, in anticipation of the talks with the United Kingdom over the question of the sovereignty over Hong Kong. It was envisioned as the model for the eventual reunification with Taiwan
Taiwan
and other islands, where the Republic of China
China
has resided since 1949. Special
Special
administrative regions should not be confused with special economic zones, which are areas in which special economic laws apply to promote trade and investments. Under the One country, two systems
One country, two systems
principle, the two SARs continue to possess their own governments, multi-party legislatures, legal systems, police forces, monetary systems, separate customs territory, immigration policies, national sports teams, official languages, postal systems, academic and educational systems, and substantial competence in external relations that are different or independent from the People's Republic of China. Special
Special
administrative regions should be distinguished from the constituent countries system in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
or Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Contents

1 List of special administrative regions of China 2 Characteristics

2.1 High degree of autonomy 2.2 External affairs 2.3 Defense and military 2.4 Immigration
Immigration
and nationality 2.5 Comparisons

3 Offer to Taiwan
Taiwan
and other ROC-controlled areas 4 Wolong 5 History

5.1 ROC special administrative regions

5.1.1 Chahar SAR

6 See also 7 References 8 Notes

List of special administrative regions of China[edit] There are currently two special administrative regions established according to Article 31 of the Chinese Constitution. For the Wolong Special
Special
Administrative Region in Sichuan
Sichuan
province, please see the section below.

Special
Special
administrative regions of the People's Republic of China[a]

Name Chinese (T) / (S) Yale Pinyin Postal map Abbreviation and GB Population Area km2 ISO ISO:CN Admin. Division

 Hong Kong 香港 Hēunggóng Xiānggǎng Hongkong 港 (Gǎng), HK, HKSAR 7,184,000 1,104.4 HK CN-91 List (18 districts)

 Macau 澳門 / 澳门 Oumùhn Àomén Macao 澳 (Ào), MO, MC, MSAR, RAEM 614,500 31.3 MO CN-92 List (7 freguesias)

Characteristics[edit]

This article is part of a series on

Administrative divisions of China

Provincial level (1st) Municipalities

Provinces

Autonomous regions

Special
Special
administrative regions

Sub-provincial level

Sub-provincial cities

Sub-provincial autonomous prefectures

Sub-provincial city districts

Prefectural level (2nd) Prefectural cities

Autonomous prefectures

Leagues

Prefectures (abolishing)

Sub-prefectural-level

Sub-prefectural cities

Provincial-controlled cities

Provincial-controlled counties

Provincial-controlled districts

County level (3rd) Counties

Autonomous counties

County-level cities

Districts Ethnic districts

Banners Autonomous banners

Shennongjia
Shennongjia
Forestry District

Liuzhi Special
Special
District

Wolong Special
Special
Administrative Region

Workers and peasants districts (obsolete)

Analogous county level units

Management areas Management committee

Township level (4th) Townships

Ethnic townships

Towns

Subdistricts Subdistrict bureaux

Sums

Ethnic sums

County-controlled districts County-controlled district bureaux (obsolete)

Management committees

Town-level city (pilot)

Analogous township level units

Management areas Management committee

Areas

Farms area, Prison area, University towns etc.

Village level (5th) informal

(Grassroots Autonomous Organizations)

Villages · Gaqas Village Committees

Residential communities Residential Committees

Other

Regions

Capital cities

New areas

Autonomous administrative divisions

National Central Cities

Special
Special
Economic Zones

History: before 1912, 1912–49, 1949–present

Administrative division
Administrative division
codes

v t e

See also: Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Basic Law and Macau
Macau
Basic Law The two special administrative regions of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
and Macau
Macau
(created in 1997 and 1999 respectively) each have a codified constitution called Basic Law.[7] The law provides the regions with a high degree of autonomy, a separate political system, and a capitalist economy under the principle of "one country, two systems" proposed by Deng Xiaoping.[7] High degree of autonomy[edit] Currently, the two SARs of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
and Macau
Macau
are responsible for all affairs except those regarding diplomatic relations and national defense.[9] Consequently, the National People's Congress
National People's Congress
authorizes the SAR to exercise a high degree of autonomy and enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial power,[10] and each with their own Courts of Final Appeal.[11] External affairs[edit] Special
Special
administrative regions are empowered to contract a wide range of agreements with other countries and territories such as mutual abolition of visa requirement, mutual legal aid, air services, extradition, handling of double taxation and others, with no Chinese Government involvement. However, in some diplomatic talks involving a SAR, the SAR concerned may choose to send officials to be part of the Chinese delegation. For example, when former Director of Health of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Margaret Chan
Margaret Chan
became the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
(WHO) Director-General, she served as a delegate from the People's Republic of China
China
to the WHO. In sporting events the SARs participate under the respective names of "Hong Kong, China" and "Macau, China", and compete as different entities[12] as they had done since they were under foreign rules, but both SARs are usually allowed to omit the term ", China" for informal use. The Government of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
has established Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) in few countries as well as Greater China Region. HKETOs serve as a quasi-interests section in favor of Hong Kong. For regions with no HKETOs, Chinese diplomatic missions take charge of protecting Hong Kong-related interests. Some countries which have a diplomatic relationship with the central Chinese government maintain Consulate-General
Consulate-General
offices in Hong Kong. Defense and military[edit] The People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
is garrisoned in both SARs. PRC authorities have said the PLA will not be allowed to interfere with the local affairs of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
and Macau, and must abide by its laws.[13] In 1988, scholar Chen Fang of the Academy of Military Science even tried to propose the "One military, two systems" concept to separate the defence function and public functions in the army.[13] The PLA does not participate in the governance of the SAR but the SAR may request them for civil-military participation, in times of emergency such as natural disasters. Defence is the responsibility of the PRC government.[9] A 1996 draft PRC law banned People's Liberation Army-run businesses in HK, but loopholes allow them to operate while the profits are ploughed back into the military.[13] There are many PLA-run corporations in Hong Kong. The PLA also have sizable land-holdings in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
worth billions of dollars.[13] Immigration
Immigration
and nationality[edit] Each of the SARs issues passports on its own to its permanent residents who are concurrently Chinese (PRC) citizens. PRC citizens must also satisfy one of the following conditions:

born in the SAR; born anywhere while either parent was a permanent resident of the SAR; resided continuously and legally for seven or more years in the SAR and therefore gained a right of abode in the SAR.

Apart from affording the holder consular protection by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, these passports also specify that the holder has right of abode in the issuing SAR. The National People's Congress
National People's Congress
has also put each SAR in charge of administering the PRC's Nationality Law in its respective realms, namely naturalization, renunciation and restoration of PRC nationality and issuance of proof of nationality. Due to their colonial past, many inhabitants of the SARs hold some form of non-Chinese nationality (e.g. British National (Overseas) status, British citizenship, British Overseas citizenship or Portuguese citizenship). However, SAR residents who are Chinese descent have always been considered as Chinese citizens by the PRC authorities, an exception to this case is Macau, wherein residents of Chinese descent may chose Chinese or Portuguese nationality. Special interpretation of the Nationality Law, while not recognizing dual nationality, has allowed Chinese citizens to keep their foreign "right of abode" and use travel documents issued by the foreign country. However, such travel documents cannot be used to travel to mainland China
China
and persons concerned must use Home Return Permit. Therefore, master nationality rule applies so the holder may not enjoy consular protection while in mainland China. Chinese citizens who also have foreign citizenship may declare a change of nationality at the Immigration
Immigration
Department of the respective SARs, and upon approval, would no longer be considered Chinese citizens. SAR permanent residents who are not Chinese citizens (including stateless persons) are not eligible for SAR passports. Persons who hold a non-Chinese citizenship must obtain passports from foreign diplomatic missions which represents their countries of citizenship. For those who are stateless, each SAR may issue its own form of certificates of identity, e.g. Document of Identity, in lieu of national passports to the persons concerned. Chinese citizens who are non-permanent residents of two SARs are also ineligible for SAR passports but may obtain CIs just like stateless persons. Comparisons[edit]

Body  Hong Kong  Macau

  China
China
(Central Government only)

Constitutional Document Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Basic Law Macau
Macau
Basic Law Constitution of the PRC

Final Authority of Constitutional Interpretation & Review NPC Standing Committee NPC Standing Committee NPC Standing Committee

Head of State / Territory Chief Executive of Hong Kong Chief Executive of Macau President of the PRC

Head of Government Chief Executive of Hong Kong Chief Executive of Macau Premier of the State Council

Executive Executive Council of Hong Kong Executive Council of Macau State Council

Legislative Legislative Council Legislative Assembly National People's Congress
National People's Congress
(NPC); NPC Standing Committee

Judiciary Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal of Macau Supreme People's Court

Legal Supervisory or Prosecution Department of Justice Public Prosecutions Office Supreme People's Procuratorate

Police Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Police (part of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Disciplined Services) Public Security Police; Judicial Police (parts of Macau
Macau
Security Force) People's Police
Police
(of Public Security, State Security, Justice, Court and Procuratorate systems); People's Armed Police

Military PLA Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Garrison PLA Macau
Macau
Garrison People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
(PLA); People's Armed Police

Currency Hong Kong
Hong Kong
dollar Macanese pataca Renminbi
Renminbi
(Chinese yuan)

Official Language(s) Chinese (traditional, (Cantonese)), English Chinese (traditional, (Cantonese)), Portuguese Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
(Putonghua) (simplified)

Foreign relations limited under "Hong Kong, China" limited under "Macau, China" full rights

Principal Agency in Foreign Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Commissioner Office in Hong Kong Ministry of Foreign Affairs Commissioner Office in Macau Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Citizenship Chinese citizenship Chinese citizenship Chinese citizenship

Proof of Residency Right of abode Right of abode[14] Hukou

Passport Hong Kong
Hong Kong
SAR passport Macau
Macau
SAR passport PRC passport

Passport Issuing Authorities Immigration
Immigration
Department Identification Services Bureau Ministry of Public Security; Ministry of Foreign Affairs/diplomatic missions (and local government Foreign Affairs Offices)

Customs Customs
Customs
and Excise Department Macao Customs
Customs
Service General Administration of Customs

Offer to Taiwan
Taiwan
and other ROC-controlled areas[edit] See also: Taiwan
Taiwan
Province, People's Republic of China The status of a special administrative region for Taiwan
Taiwan
and other areas controlled by the Republic of China
China
was first proposed in 1981.[7] The 1981 proposal was put forth by Ye Jianying
Ye Jianying
called "Ye's nine points" (葉九條).[15] A series of different offers have since appeared. On 25 June 1983 Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
appeared at Seton Hall University in the US to propose "Deng's six points" (鄧六條), which called for a " Taiwan
Taiwan
Special
Special
Administrative Region" (台灣特別行政區).[15] It was envisioned that after Taiwan's unification with the PRC as an SAR, the PRC would become the sole representative of China.[15] Under this proposal, Taiwan
Taiwan
would be guaranteed its own military,[15] its own administrative and legislative powers, an independent judiciary and the right of adjudication, although it would not be considered a separate government of China.[15] In 2005 the Anti-Secession Law
Anti-Secession Law
of the PRC was enacted. It promises the lands currently ruled by the authorities of Taiwan
Taiwan
a high degree of autonomy, among other things.[16] The PRC can also employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to defend its claims to sovereignty over the ROC's territories in the event of an outright declaration of independence by Taiwan
Taiwan
(ROC).[16] Wolong[edit] The Wolong Special
Special
Administrative Region[17] (Chinese: 卧龙特别行政区; pinyin: Wòlóng Tèbié Xíngzhèngqū) is located in the southwest of Wenchuan County, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan. It was formerly known as Wolong Special
Special
Administrative Region of Wenchuan County, Sichuan
Sichuan
Province and was founded in March 1983 with approval of the State Council. It was given its current name and placed under Sichuan
Sichuan
provincial government with administrative supervision by the provincial department of forestry. Its area supersedes Sichuan
Sichuan
Wolong National Nature Reserve and its administrative office is the same as the Administrative Bureau of the State Forestry Administration for the reserve. It currently has a population of 5343.[17] Despite its name, the Wolong Special Administrative Region
Wolong Special Administrative Region
is not an SAR as defined by Article 31 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China; as a result, it has been proposed the Wenchuan Wolong Special Administrative Region
Wolong Special Administrative Region
of Sichuan
Sichuan
Province change its name, with designations such as special area or township.[18] History[edit] ROC special administrative regions[edit]

This article is part of a series on

Administrative divisions of Taiwan

Centrally-governed

Special
Special
municipalities Counties Provincial cities

Township-level

Districts Mountain indigenous districts County-controlled cities Urban townships Rural townships Mountain indigenous townships

Village-level

Urban villages Rural villages

Neighborhood-level

Neighborhoods

Historical divisions of Taiwan
Taiwan
(1895–1945) Republic of China
China
(1912–49)

v t e

In the Republic of China
China
(ROC) when it governed Mainland China, "special administrative regions" (Chinese: 特別行政區; pinyin: tèbié xíngzhèngqū) were historically used to designate special areas, most of which were eventually converted into provinces. All were suspended or abolished after the end of the Chinese Civil War, with the establishment of the People's Republic of China
China
(PRC) and the ROC government's retreat to Taiwan. The regions were:

Name Created Became province Current status

Suiyuan 1914 1928 part of Inner Mongolia

Chahar 1914 1928 distributed into Inner Mongolia, Beijing
Beijing
and Hebei

Rehe (Jehol) 1914 1928 distributed into Hebei, Liaoning
Liaoning
and Inner Mongolia

Chuanbian1 1914 19352 part of Sichuan

Tungsheng3 1924

Land along the Chinese Eastern Railway, now part of Heilongjiang

Weihaiwei 1930

part of Shandong

Hainan 1944 In preparation in 1949 province

1 postal: Chwanpien; Chinese: 川邊; pinyin: Chuānbiān; Wade–Giles: Ch'uan-pien. 2 As Xikang
Xikang
Province. 3 Postal romanization; Chinese: 東省; pinyin: Dōngshěng.

Chahar SAR[edit] Chahar was made a special administrative region in 1914 by the Republic of China, as a subdivision of the then Zhili Province, with 6 banners and 11 counties. In 1928 it became a province, with 5 of its counties partitioned to Suiyuan, and 10 counties were included from Hebei.

See also[edit]

China
China
portal Hong Kong
Hong Kong
portal Macau
Macau
portal

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History of Macau

Portuguese Macau

References[edit]

^ "Mid-year Population for 2014". Census and Statistics Department (Hong Kong). 12 August 2014.  ^ "Demographic Statistics for the 2nd Quarter 2014". Statistics and Census Service of the Government of Macau
Macau
SAR. 11 August 2014.  ^ Administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国行政区划; Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Xíngzhèng Qūhuà), 15 June 2005, retrieved 5 June 2010  ^ Chapter II: Relationship between the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Special
Special
Administrative Region, Article 12, retrieved 5 June 2010  ^ Chapter II Relationship between the Central Authorities and the Macau
Macau
Special
Special
Administrative Region, Article 12, archived from the original on 5 February 2012, retrieved 5 June 2010  ^ Lauterpacht, Elihu. Greenwood, C. J. [1999] (1999). International Law Reports Volume 114 of International Law Reports Set Complete set. Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0521642442, 9780521642446. p 394. ^ a b c d Ghai, Yash P. (2000). Autonomy and Ethnicity: Negotiating Competing Claims in Multi-Ethnic States. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521786428, 9780521786423. p 92. ^ Article 12, Basic Law of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
and Article 12, Basic Law of Macau ^ a b Zhang Wei-Bei. [2006] (2006). Hong Kong: the pearl made of British mastery and Chinese docile-diligence. Nova Publishers. ISBN 1594546002, 9781594546006. ^ Chan, Ming K. Clark, David J. [1991] (1991). The Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Basic Law: Blueprint for Stabiliree Legal Orders – Perspectives of Evolution: Essays on Macau's Autonomy After the Resumption of Sovereignty by China. ISBN 3540685715, 9783540685715. p 212. ^ Oliveira, Jorge. Cardinal, Paulo. [2009] (2009). One Country, Two Systems, Three Legal Orders – Perspectives of Evolution: Essays on Macau's Autonomy After the Resumption of Sovereignty by China. ISBN 3540685715, 9783540685715. p 212. ^ English.eastday.com. English.eastday.com. " China
China
keeps low key at East Asian Games." Retrieved on 2009-12-13. ^ a b c d Gurtov, Melvin. Hwang, Byong-Moo Hwang. (1998). China's Security: The New Roles of the Military. Lynne Rienner Publishing. ISBN 1555874347, 9781555874346. p 203–204. ^ " Macau
Macau
SAR Identification Department". www.dsi.gov.mo.  ^ a b c d e Big5.china.com.cn. "Big5.china.com.cn." 鄧六條. Retrieved on 2009-12-14. ^ a b United Nations refugee agency. "UNHCR." Anti-Secession Law
Anti-Secession Law
(No. 34). Retrieved on 2009-12-14. ^ a b Wolong Introduction ^ "A Brief Review of the Special
Special
Administrative Regions and the Special
Special
Administrative Region System" (PDF). 

Notes[edit]

^ References and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual provincial articles.

v t e

Articles on first-level administrative divisions of Asian countries

Sovereign states

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan1 Bahrain Bangladesh Bhutan Brunei Cambodia China

province autonomous region municipality SAR

Cyprus Egypt1 Georgia1 India Indonesia1 Iran Iraq Israel Japan Jordan Kazakhstan1 North Korea

province special city

South Korea Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Myanmar Nepal Oman Pakistan Palestine Philippines Qatar Russia1 Saudi Arabia Singapore Sri Lanka Syria Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste (East Timor) Turkey1 Turkmenistan United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Vietnam Yemen1

States with limited recognition

Northern Cyprus Taiwan

1 Country spanning more than one continent (transcontinental country).

List of administrative divisions by country

v t e

Provincial-level divisions of the People's Republic of China

Provinces

Anhui Fujian Gansu Guangdong Guizhou Hainan Hebei Heilongjiang Henan Hubei Hunan Jiangsu Jiangxi Jilin Liaoning Qinghai Shaanxi Shandong Shanxi Sichuan Yunnan Zhejiang

Autonomous regions

Guangxi Inner Mongolia Ningxia Tibet Xinjiang

Municipalities

Beijing Chongqing Shanghai Tianjin

Special
Special
administrative regions

Hong Kong Macau

Other

Taiwan¹

Note: Taiwan
Taiwan
is claimed by the People's Republic of China
China
but administered by the Republic of China
China
(see Political status of Taiwan).

v t e

Hong Kong 

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