A sub-provincial city (副省级城市), or vice-provincial city, in the People's Republic of China, is a city hierarchically lower than a province, but administered independently in regard to economy and law. The mayor of a sub-provincial city is equal in status to a vice-governor of a province. Its name is opposed to that of a municipality, which is also known as "provincial city" (省级市). The original 16 sub-provincial cities were created in on February 25, 1994 by the Central Organization Committee out of prefecture-level cities. They are sometimes the capitals of the provinces they are in.

Presently, there are 15 sub-provincial cities:

Chongqing is formerly a sub-provincial city of Sichuan until 1997, when it was made a municipality.

Harbin and Chengdu are the largest sub-provincial cities; each has a population exceeding that of the municipality of Tianjin.

The National Standing Committee of Sub-provincial Municipal People's Congresses' Chairmen Joint Conference (全国副省级城市人大常委会主任联席会议) are attended by the chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of all sub-provincial cities. It was proposed by Guangzhou Municipal People's Congress in 1985. The conferences:

  • 1. February 26 to March 4, 1985, Guangzhou
  • ...
  • 17. October 30 - November 2, 2001, Guangzhou
  • ...
  • 19. October 8 - ? , 2003, Wuhan

See also: Political divisions of China