Townships of the People's Republic of China

Township-level divisions
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 乡级行政区
Traditional Chinese 鄉級行政區
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Zhuang name
Zhuang Yangh
Uyghur name

Townships (Chinese: ; pinyin: Xiāng), formally township-level divisions (Chinese: 乡级行政区; pinyin: Xiāng Jí Xíngzhèngqū), are the basic level (fourth-level administrative units) of political divisions in China. They are similar to municipalities and communes in other countries and in turn may contain village committees and villages. In 1995 there were 29,502 townships and 17,532 towns (a total of 47,034 township-level divisions) in China.[1]

Much like other levels of government in mainland China, the township's governance is divided between the Communist Party Township Secretary, and the "county magistrate" (Chinese: 乡长; pinyin: Xiāng zhǎng). The township party secretary, along with the township's party committee, determines policy. The magistrate is in charge of administering the daily affairs of government and executing policies as determined by the party committee. A township official is the lowest-level ranked official in the civil service hierarchy; in practice, however, the township party secretary and magistrate can amass high levels of personal power.

A township government is formally responsible for local economic development, planning, maintenance of local roads, family planning (enforcing One-Child Policy), sanitation & health, sports, and "other responsibilities as determined by higher level governments".[2]


A town (Chinese: ; pinyin: zhèn) is larger, often more populous, and less remote than a township.

List of townships level divisions

Township map of Guizhou
Township map of Yunnan
China Administrative divisions list
List of cities
(all types)
List of districts
List of prefectures
(all types)
List of counties
(all types)
List of township-level divisions
Autonomous areas


  1. Yawei, Liu. "China's Township People's Congress Elections: An Introduction" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  2. "乡政府职能和职责". Baidu Wenku.

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