More Power for Humen, Chang’an

02_15_SCENE_Towns become CitiesIt is confirmed. Humen and Chang’an Towns are being upgraded to county-level cities. Moving up on the administrative scale that is ranked, from small to large, village, township, county, prefecture and province, the change is part of a national initiative released on February 4 that directs 62 cities to increase urbanization as parts of a pilot program. Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Huizhou will also be affected.

Detailed plans have yet to be proofed by the State Council, but the townships will gain limited self-governing privileges missing since Dongguan’s establishment in 1998 as a prefectural city. They will be in the same administrative level as Guangzhou’s Zengcheng and Conghua. According to Lin Jiang, a professor from Sun Yat-sen University’s Department of Public Finance and Taxation, Humen and Chang’an will have control of household management, land resources and management of public infrastructure, and will also have greater autonomy in policy, taxes and city planning.

Humen and Chang’an were picked for the experiment for reasons beyond GDP (RMB 41 billion for Humen and 33 billion for Chang’an in 2014) they both have almost one eighth of the city’s population, and complaints have risen for acquiring paperwork, running between local departments and city bureaus. The four sub-districts, Guancheng, Dongcheng, Nancheng and Wanjiang will remain governed under the township-level classification.

Category The Scene