A prefecture-level city (地 级 市Chinese, Pinyin dìjíshì ) is an administrative unit in the People's Republic of China below the provincial level. At present there are in the PRC 286 prefecture-level cities (as of February 9, 2013 ).
The administrative area of a prefecture-level city usually includes both the actual urban area and the surrounding Greater Region, so expansive rural areas. Because of this, prefecture-level cities from urban districts, urban districts and counties set ( in Inner Mongolia banners) together.
Such administrative area often has a size and population of a German Federal State: How the administrative area of the city of Changchun with six districts, three urban districts and one county contains a total of 7.12 million inhabitants in an area of 20,565 km ², the state of Hesse for comparison 6, 07 million inhabitants in an area of 21,115 km ².
Management systems of the district level
In the Administration in China, there are below the provincial level, the district level (地 级). At this level, a distinction prefecture-level cities, counties (地区), frets (盟) and Autonomous Districts (自治州).
District -free cities and autonomous counties are administrative divisions of the first degree, ie they have - such as the parent provinces and sub- circuits - over both chambers of parliament ( People's Congress and Consultative Conference ), as well as a People's Government (人民政府) adopted by the People's Congress of the city or of the autonomous area shall be chosen.
Administrative districts and unions, however, are administrative divisions of the second degree, namely " Province of Central authorities ", ie they do not have people's congresses, no Consultative and especially not people's governments. Instead, they have an administrative office (行政公署) as a government. The Office of Administration is used by the parent provincial government.
Conversion into prefecture-level cities
Since November 5, 1983, increased the number of prefecture-level cities, as administrative districts and frets are converted into reserves. This conversion will strengthen the middle management level, a form of administrative decentralization, because such extensive powers and responsibilities from the provincial to the district level are shifted.
Under provincial towns
By Government Decision of 25 February 1994 15 prefecture-level cities have been declared under provincial towns. The mayor of a sub- provincial city has the same rank as the vice-governor of a province. These 15 cities have a much higher level of rights, powers and responsibilities, especially in the fields of justice and economy, than the other 271 prefecture-level cities.