|Also known as:|
Townships and county-administered cities
|Category||Townships/cities and districts|
|Created by||Local Government Act|
|Number||198 (as of 2019)|
Townships and county-administered cities, abbreviated as townships/cities, is a class of administrative divisions of counties in Taiwan under the Local Government Act. In contrast to districts, townships/cities have self-governing bodies.
There is little practical difference between townships and county-administered cities. The distinction is largely due to historical reasons and today serves the purpose of categorisation.
In Chinese, there are two types of townships: x?ang (Chinese: ?) and zhèn (Chinese: ?), with little practical difference between the two. Townships/cities are further divided into villages. Villages of x?ang townships are known as ts?n (Chinese: ?) while those of other types are known as l? (Chinese: ?).
The borders of modern townships/cities in Taiwan can be traced to the 1920s during Japanese rule. Cities were under the jurisdiction of prefectures. After the World War II, 9 out of 11 prefectural cities established by the Japanese government were reform into provincial cities. The reform was based on the Laws on the City Formation (?) of the Republic of China.
With this reform, the populations of Hualien and Yilan were too low to become a provincial city, but are much more important than other townships. Thus the special administrative division type is created in Scheme on the Local Rules in Various Counties and Cities of Taiwan Province (). During this period, a county is divided into county-administered cities and county-administered townships. The level of a county-administered city was higher than a township.
|Divisions before 1945||Divisions after 1945|
|Aboriginal areas||banchi||hoan-t?||Mountain indigenous township||sh?ndì xi?ng||soa?-t? hiong|
In 1951, a large scale administrative division reorganisation took place. The size of counties shrank. County-administered districts were abolished. This puts county-administered cities and townships into the same level in the hierarchy. Four provincial cities were also downgraded to county-administered cities after this reorganisation. Since the county-administered cities are based on the law for Taiwan Province, Kinmen County and Lienchiang County under Fukien do not have any cities under their jurisdiction.
The population criterion for converting to a city was originally 50,000 in the 1940s, but was raised to 100,000 in 1959, again in 1977 to 150,000, and in 2015 it was lower back to 100,000.
Although local laws do not enforce strict standards for classifying townships, generally a zhèn township have a larger population and more business and industry than a x?ang township, but not to the extent of a county-administered city. Penghu and Lienchiang are the only two counties that do not have zhèn townships.
In order to be converted to a city, a township needs to have a population above 100,000 and occupies major political, economical and cultural roles. Not all existing county-administered cities have a population over 100,000. As of March 2019, the townships of Caotun, Zhudong, and Hemei have populations over 90,000, close to the conversion criterion.
Currently, there are 198 townships/cities. In contrast to districts, townships/cities have self-governing bodies consisting of a township/city office with an popularly elected mayor and a representative council with elected representatives. Mayors and representatives have four-year terms and can be re-elected for a second term.
Matters for which township/city governments are responsible or partially responsible include social services, education, culture, sports, public health and safety, construction, transport, tourism, and business.
Townships/cities are further divided into villages.
In special municipalities, mountain indigenous districts (MID) have a similar status to township/cities under the Local Government Act. MIDs also have self-governing bodies. Currently there are 6 MIDs.
|Republic of China|
|Free area[i]||Mainland area|
|Special municipalities[G][ii]||Provinces[iii]||Not administered[iv]|
|Districts[O]||Mountain indigenous districts[G]||Townships and county-administered cities[G][vi]||Districts[O]|