TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (6): 799-809.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003079

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Types, Characteristics and Tendency of County-level Administrative Division Adjustment in China since 2000

WU Jianmin1,DING Jianghui2   

  1. (1. Shijiazhuang Post and Telecommunication Technical College, Shijiazhuang 050021, China; 2. Faculty of Resources and Environment Science, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050016, China)
  • Online:2018-11-30 Published:2018-11-30


The adjustment of administrative divisions at county-level is an important manifestation of national spatial governance. This thesis mainly reviews 631 cases of county-level administrative divisions adjustment in China from 2000 to 2016, and summarizes the main types of county administrative division adjustment, including turning counties (cities) into districts, turning counties into cities, the combination of the administrative districts, the establishment of the administrative districts, boundary adjustment, affiliated change and institutional upgrading. This part of research shows that the type of changes implies a profound socioeconomic context and specific needs. The charts and diagrams analyze the temporal-spatial distribution characteristics of the county-level administrative division adjustment of various types and quantities, which is characterized by the combination of time concentration and spatial aggregation. It is found that the content and direction of the administrative divisions’ adjustment at county-level will change along with the different strategic orientations of different countries or regions. Through the adjustment of county-level administrative divisions, the number of county-level cities has been increased, the scale and space of urban areas in large cities have been expanded, the spatial resources of urban internal areas have been reorganized, and the spatial structure of administrative districts has been upgraded. Based on the spatial management, this paper argues that the adjustment of county-level administrative divisions is of great significance in the national spatial governance and optimization of economic and social development. It is essentially to establish a more complete system and spatial foundation for the modernization of state governance. On the tendency of development, it is believed that the study of the relationship between the adjustment of county-level administrative divisions and national strategy and regional development, and the research of implicit logic from the exploration process of the county-level administrative division reconstruction will become a hot spot. The adjustment and optimization of county-level administrative divisions are basically carried out in accordance with the requirements of urbanization, regional development, border governance and ethnic regional development. According to the research, this paper aims to provide a reference for the reform of county-level administrative divisions in China, and to provide ideas for improving the type structure of county-level administrative divisions and optimizing spatial distribution. Through the research, it can also provide basic support for promoting the study of the modernization of state governance and optimizing the set of county-level administrative divisions.

Key words: administrative division adjustment, convert county into city, convert county/city into district, administrative district consolidation, add administrative district, boundary adjustment, spatial governance