Today, I’m translating a recent update from the Shenzhen Government online–Shenzhen administrative divisions. For those interested in who belongs where, it is an amazingly useful collection of maps. It also introduces the ongoing administrative history of Shenzhen, providing key dates in administrative restructuring. This translation interests as much for what it includes as what it does not; Shekou is notably absent from the administrative history of Shenzhen and this particular version of municipal historiography. Moreover, although this historiography shows when the government apparatus has made grabs to regulate and standardize local production, its unclear what happened in the outer districts when all this inner re-districting was going on. In other words, the official historiography of Shenzhen’s administrative history seems a straight-forward and uncomplicated process.
(1) Shenzhen Administrative Districts Background
Shenzhen is located on the eastern banks of the Pearl River, sharing borders with Hong Kong, Dongguan and Huizhou Cities. It has a total area of 1,952.84 sq km and comprises 6 Districts, 4 functional areas (or new districts), and 59 Street Offices.
(2) Transformation of Shenzhen Administrative Districts
March 1979, the Guangdong Provincial Standing Committee elevated it to Shenzhen Municipality in order to strengthen governance over Bao’an County and to stimulate its opening and development. Shenzhen Municipality comprised 6 areas–Shenzhen, Nantou, Songgang, Longhua, Caizhong, and Longhua, and had a total population of 358,000 people.
October 1979, the Luohu Management Area was established.
November 1979, the Provincial Government and Regional Government elevated Shenzhen Municipality to a first rank provincial city, under the administration of Guangdong Province.
July 1980, the Luohu Management Area was subdivided into the Luohu and Shatoujiao Management Area.
August 1980,the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was established in order to provide a new road for the national project of reform and opening, and to provide a site for breakthroughs and experimentation. The SEZ included the Shenzhen and Shatoujiao Market Towns and surrounding areas, and Yantian, Nantou, and Shekou Communes with a total area of 327.5 sq km.
October 1981, in order to strengthen management within the Special Economic Zone and stimulate its economic and social development and reform and opening, Bao’an County was re-established under the administration of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. The County included 16 communes (Dapeng, Caichong, Pingshan, Longgang, Pingdi, Henggang, Pinghu, Buji, Guanlan, Longhua, Shiyan, Xixiang, Shajing, Fuyong, Songgang, Gongming) and the Guangming Overseas Chinese Dairy.
January 1982, the Luohu Administrative District was established and Shatouqiao was made part of it. In September that same year, Shatoujiao Market was made an independent administrative office.
September 1983, Luohu Administrative District was redistricted into the Luohu, Shangbu, Nantou, and Shahe Management Districts, each with the rank of a county. This was the basic structure of the Shenzhen Security Precincts. This meant that the SEZ comprised four county-ranked administrative areas.
August 1984, the Shekou Management Area was districted out of the Nantou Management Area. Shekou had an area of 11.4 sq km, its head office was in Shekou and it had one neighborhood office.
October 1986, district and xiang offices were redesigned as market towns and villages. Nan’ao became an independent market town (zoned from Dapeng), and Hengzi was redistricted from Pingshan.
February 1987, Bao’an County comprised 18 district-level market towns and 165 administrative villages. Bao’an County administered the Guangming Overseas Chinese Dairy.
October 1989, the Shangbu Management Area changed its name to the Futian Management Area.
January 1990, within the SEZ, Luohu, Futian, Nantou, Shekou, and Shatoujiao Management Areas were dissolved and the Luohu, Futian, Nanshan Urban Districts were established. In March, Shatoujiao was integrated into Luohu.
In 1991, Bao’an County comprised 18 market towns and 191 administrative villages; Guangming Overseas Chinese Dairy was still under its administration. The 18 market towns were: Xin’an, Fuyong, Shajing, Songgang, Gongming, Shin, Longhua, Guanlan, Pinghu, Buji, Henggang, Longgang, Pingdi, Pingshan, Hezi, Caizhong, Dapeng and Nan’ao.
January 1993, Bao’an County was abolished and Bao’an and Longgang Urban Districts were established. Bao’an District comprised Xixiang, Fuyong, Shajing, singing, Gongming, Shiyan, Longhua, and Guanlan Market towns. Longgang District comprised Pinghu, Buji, Henggang, Longgang, Pingdi, Pingshan, Hengzi, Caizhong, Dapeng, and Nan’ao Market towns.
October 1997, Yantian District was established in order to stimulate growth and economic development in the eastern section of the SEZ. Dantean District had an area of 71.83 sq km. It was relatively isolated from the rest of the SEZ. In 1996, its population was 187,000 people, had a GDP of 174 million, and an estimated government revenue of 24.5 million.
In 2004 the 17 Market towns in Bao’an and Longgang were designated street offices in order to promote integrated development between the inner and outer districts and promote urbanization in Bao’an and Longgang Districts.
In 2010, the inner and outer districts were completely integrated and the area of the SEZ was contiguous with its municipal borders.
As of December 2010, Shenzhen Municipality comprised 6 urban districts, the Guangming and Pingshan Management areas, 57 Street Offices, and 791 neighborhood offices.
As of February 2014, Shenzhen Municipality comprised 6 urban districts, four functional areas, 57 street offices, and 796 neighborhood offices.
As of June 2015, Shenzhen Municipality comprised 6 urban districts, four functional areas, 59 street offices, and 796 neighborhood offices.