Government, Local Government
Tibet Autonomous Region, Guangxi Zhuang, Yunnan, Tibetans, prefectures
Local government in China is organized into three major administrative tiers below the central government. At the level directly below the center are 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 autonomous municipalities, and 2 Special Autonomous Regions (SARs). The 22 provinces are Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Zhejiang. China counts Taiwan as its 23rd province, although since 1949 Taiwan has been controlled by a separate government that fled to the island when it lost the civil war on mainland China. The five autonomous regions are Guangxi Zhuang, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia Hui, Tibet, and Xinjiang Uygur. Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin are the four autonomous municipalities. Hong Kong and Macau are the two SARs.
At the second of the three administrative levels are prefectures, counties, and municipalities. The lowest level is formed by municipal subdivisions, administrative towns, and rural townships. Each level has special autonomous entities inhabited primarily by minorities, such as Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Villages in rural areas and residentsí committees in cities are below the formal government structure, but these grassroots organs have governmental purposes, such as collecting taxes, resolving disputes, and supervising population planning.
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