China has four cities who have grown in population and influence to gain equal political stature with provincial governments.
The actual geography of these municipalities encompass not only the central urban metro area but also outlying suburbs, towns and villages.
Below are China's four municipalities in alphabetical order. Click through for more information.
Metro population: 5 million
Area population: 31.4 million
Famous for: its location on the Yangtze River, many cruises start here; historically the provisional capital of China for the Kuomingtang and Allied headquarters for China during WWII; hot pot, the local spicy specialty.
18.6 million Area population:
n/a Famous for:
the Bund and other 1920s international architecture; historically the "Paris of the East", one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia a the turn of the twentieth century; currently being the financial center of China.
Metro population: 11.5 million
Area population: n/a
Famous for: being used as a gateway to Beijing and trade with China by foreign Western powers during the twentieth century; presently a large and fast-developing port city for Beijing.