China | An enduring centralisation

Despite its size, China is a unitary, not a federal system. The system is organized along a typical hierarchy. Below the central government are four levels of governments: provincial, prefectural (municipal), county, and township. Geographically and organizationally, villages are clearly identified below towns and townships, but they are not considered a distinct level of government even though state power penetrates all the way down to the villages. The provincial level governments include 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and 4 municipalities at provincial level, or a total of 31 units.

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