A prefectural-level municipality (Chinese: 地级市), prefectural-level city or prefectural city; formerly known as province-administrated city (Chinese: 省辖市) from 1949 to 1983, is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative structure (alongside prefectures, leagues and autonomous prefectures). Administrative chiefs (mayors) of prefectural level cities generally have the same rank as a division chief (Chinese: 司长) of a national ministry. Since the 1980s, most former prefectures have been renamed into prefectural level cities.

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  • A prefectural-level municipality (Chinese: 地级市), prefectural-level city or prefectural city; formerly known as province-administrated city (Chinese: 省辖市) from 1949 to 1983, is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative structure (alongside prefectures, leagues and autonomous prefectures). Administrative chiefs (mayors) of prefectural level cities generally have the same rank as a division chief (Chinese: 司长) of a national ministry. Since the 1980s, most former prefectures have been renamed into prefectural level cities. A prefectural level city is a "city" (Chinese: 市; pinyin: shì) and "prefecture" (Chinese: 地区; pinyin: dìqū) that have been merged into one consolidated and unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal entry with subordinate districts, and a prefecture with subordinate county-level cities and counties which is an administrative division of a province. A prefectural level city is often not a "city" in the usual sense of the term (i.e., a large continuous urban settlement), but instead an administrative unit comprising, typically, a main central urban area (a city in the usual sense, usually with the same name as the prefectural level city), and its much larger surrounding rural area containing many smaller cities, towns and villages. The larger prefectural level cities span over 100 kilometres (62 mi). Prefectural level cities nearly always contain multiple counties, county level cities, and other such sub-divisions. This results from the fact that the formerly predominant prefectures, which prefectural level cities have mostly replaced, were themselves large administrative units containing cities, smaller towns, and rural areas. To distinguish a prefectural level city from its actual urban area (city in the strict sense), the term 市区 shìqū ("urban area"), is used. The first prefectural level cities were created on 5 November 1983. Over the following two decades, prefectural level cities have come to replace the vast majority of Chinese prefectures; the process is still ongoing. Most provinces are composed entirely or nearly entirely of prefectural level cities. Of the 22 provinces and 5 autonomous regions of the PRC, only 9 provinces (Yunnan, Guizhou, Qinghai, Heilongjiang, Sichuan, Gansu, Jilin, Hubei, Hunan) and 3 autonomous regions (Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia) have at least one or more second level or prefectural level divisions that are not prefectural level cities. Criteria that a prefecture must meet to become a prefectural level city: * An urban centre with a non-rural population over 250,000 * gross output of value of industry of 200,000,000 RMB (US$32 million) * the output of tertiary industry supersedes that of primary industry, contributing over 35% of the GDP 15 large prefectural level cities have been granted the status of sub-provincial city, which gives them much greater autonomy. Shijiazhuang and Zhengzhou are the largest prefectural level cities with populations approaching or exceeding some sub-provincial cities. A sub-prefecture-level city is a county-level city with powers approaching those of prefectural level cities. (en)
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  • A prefectural-level municipality (Chinese: 地级市), prefectural-level city or prefectural city; formerly known as province-administrated city (Chinese: 省辖市) from 1949 to 1983, is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative structure (alongside prefectures, leagues and autonomous prefectures). Administrative chiefs (mayors) of prefectural level cities generally have the same rank as a division chief (Chinese: 司长) of a national ministry. Since the 1980s, most former prefectures have been renamed into prefectural level cities. (en)
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  • Prefecture-level city (en)
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