Towards the “Countyless Era”? ——Summary and Reflection on the Practice of Dismantling Counties into Districts in Contemporary China

【Abstract】As an important means to implement new-type urbanization and coordinated regional development, the establishment of districts into counties has been widely used in many cities in recent years, leading to the question of “the era of no counties”. This article analyzes the removal of counties and districts in contemporary China from different levels of “what is”, “why” and “where”. By reviewing the temporal and spatial evolution of counties and districts since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, it is judged that the counties and districts have entered an overall shrinking stage, which is still dominated by economic factors, and the regional agglomeration continues to increase. Sub-center city transfer. Based on the new development stage, the construction of a new development pattern of domestic and international dual circulation and the requirements of urban governance modernization provide a new source of power for the removal of counties into districts. From the perspective of legal analysis, the decommissioning of counties into districts is essentially a constitutional system related to the allocation and interaction of state power. It should return to the road of rule of law, follow the norms, principles and spirit established by the constitution, and conform to the law of its own development of decommissioning counties into districts. On the whole, the removal of counties into districts will not lead to the disappearance of the county system. In the future, it is necessary to formulate an administrative division law to build a legal guarantee system for administrative divisions.

【Key words】 Removal of counties into districts, change of administrative divisions, “14th Five-Year Plan” period, rule of law, county system

1. Questions

“Only Wang built the country, distinguished the party and the right position, organized the country’s affairs, set up officials and divided positions, and considered the people’s poles.” ①As one of the main forms of redistribution of state power, administrative divisions have become an important policy tool for governing the country and the state in all dynasties. In this regard, Xi Jinping pointed out that administrative divisions themselves are also an important resource (Xi Jinping, 2017). With the increasing tension between the relative stability of administrative divisions and the flexibility of urban economic zones, the adjustment of administrative divisions has become an important means of regional development management (Chen Xiaohua, 2013). Today, under the premise of adhering to the overall stability of the administrative division system, local administrative divisions have undergone several changes, and diversified forms of division change have been derived. During the period of comprehensively deepening reforms, the contradiction between the large-scale agglomeration of population caused by rapid urbanization and the incompatibility of urban spatial layout has become increasingly prominent. Through zoning changes, the spatial structure and layout of administrative areas have been optimized to promote the free flow and efficient agglomeration of various elements in space. , has become the leading target of zoning changes in the new era (Zhang Keyun and Li Chen, 2021). Optimizing the setting of administrative divisions is not only an important measure of the “14th Five-Year Plan”, but also an important clue for understanding the governance of China.

As the basic unit of the national structure and the most stable administrative unit, the adjustment of the county system has the most direct impact on regional economic development and social governance. County governance is an important part of promoting the modernization of national governance. The form of zoning change in urban construction and grassroots development has played an important role in governance. Especially in recent years, the widespread application of removing counties into districts has led to the question of “the era of no counties”. The development trend, in-depth understanding of the logical reasons for removing counties and setting up districts, and scientifically standardizing the practice of removing counties and setting up districts have become an important part of understanding county governance and development.

It is generally believed that the adjustment of administrative divisions is a political behavior of the state, and the practice and norms surrounding administrative divisions are mainly concentrated in the field of political science. However, from the root point of view, the essence of administrative division change is the constitutional system related to the allocation and interaction of state power. Correspondingly, the Chinese Constitution has also made principled provisions on administrative divisions, which generally maintain continuity and stability in content. The change of administrative divisions has become an important topic in legal research and even constitutional research. The rule of law is the only way for the modernization of national governance, and it is also an important guide for the work of dismantling counties into districts in the future. support. This article does not simply discuss a certain case of the removal of counties into districts through the method of logic and demonstration, but from different levels, the overall understanding and grasp of the removal of counties into districts as an important means of implementing new urbanization and coordinated regional development, based on its Finally, from the perspective of the rule of law, it explores how to realize the rule of law norms of removing counties into districts in the future.

2. Literature Review: The Concealment and Appearance of the Research on Dismantling Counties and Districts

After the reform and opening up, due to the extensive application of administrative division adjustment, a comprehensive and systematic theoretical exploration of administrative division adjustment has also been carried out. Some studies summarize the historical evolution of administrative divisions, aiming to explore the development law of administrative divisions and provide theoretical guidance for the reform of administrative divisions (Zhou Zhenhe, 2009). More research mainly focuses on the basic theory of administrative division management. On the basis of clarifying the connotation, elements, and principles of administrative divisions, theoretical reflections on the establishment of administrative divisions at all levels and various types are carried out, and corresponding reform ideas and specific strategies are put forward (Pu Shan). Xin, 2006; Tian Suisheng et al., 2005). Due to the late peak of the practice of removing counties and setting up districts, for a long time, a large number of studies on removing counties and setting up districts have been hidden in the overall study of administrative division adjustment, and further divided into three sub-questions: first, the driving force of administrative division adjustment What is the source? Second, what is the implementation effect of the administrative division adjustment? Third, how to scientifically and effectively regulate the adjustment of administrative divisions?

First, the source of power for the adjustment of administrative divisions. Most studies show that at different stages of economic development and urbanization levels in different regions, it is necessary to establish a corresponding urban administrative system and form an administrative pattern that is unified with the economic and regional structure, but the focus of each study is different. From the perspective of optimizing resource allocation, promoting urban and rural development, and adjusting urban spatial structure, it discusses its internal relationship with administrative division adjustment (Wang Kaiyong and Chen Tian, ​​2020; Li Yi, 2019; Wang Tinglin, 2017). Some studies have begun to notice that the economic logic of administrative division adjustment still exists, but it is weakened by the logic of political and spatial governance (Kuang Zhensheng, 2020). At present, it is necessary to promote the optimization of administrative divisions to develop in depth from the strategic height of the modernization of national governance (Lin Tuo and Wang Shichen, 2017). Specifically, when counties were withdrawn into districts, the prominent contradiction between cities and counties led to the establishment of districts into counties (Xiao Lihui and Ma Guochun, 2012). Dismantling a county into a district involves the adjustment of power relations, and the unification and concentration of the county’s financial and planning rights (Wu Jinqun and Liao Chaochao, 2018). In addition, the removal of counties into districts is also a powerful tool for the central government to promote urbanization (Tang Wei and Wang Yuan, 2015).

Second, the effects of administrative division adjustment are multifaceted. Studies have shown that the adjustment of administrative divisions has not only effectively enhanced the advantages of administrative divisions, and eliminated spatial and administrative barriers (Wang Kaiyong and Feng Rundong, 2020), but also played a positive role in building a sound metropolitan area governance system and promoting the process of urbanization. (Ji Xiaole, Wei Jian, 2019), and has a strong resource effect (Wang Kaiyong et al., 2019). However, some studies have drawn the opposite conclusion based on empirical data: the adjustment of administrative divisions does not always promote regional economic growth, and may even hinder economic growth in a certain region and period (Gao Lingling and Sun Haiming, 2015). This logic is supported by empirical evidence. Based on case analysis, some studies have found that the effect of administrative division adjustment in accelerating regional economic growth is not significant (Lv Kaibo and Liu Xiaobing, 2014). The removal of counties into districts has significantly improved the quality of the local economic development, among which the active and adaptive type of removal of counties into districts has a more obvious effect (Zhan Xinyu and Zeng Fuwen, 2021), and has played an active role in restraining housing prices and promoting enterprise development ( Wang Fenglong, Zhang Chuanyong, 2017; Zhong Yuejun, Liang Chao, 2021). In addition to the economic effects, removing counties into districts can also effectively promote urban construction and alleviate the imbalance of urbanization development (Zhou Shaofu and Xu Shunwei, 2020; Yang Tongbin et al., 2020).

Finally, how to scientifically regulate the adjustment of administrative divisions becomes the foothold of the study of administrative divisions. On the basis of summarizing the history and characteristics of administrative division adjustment, some studies put forward the basic principles and key contents that should be adhered to in administrative division adjustment (Wang Jianchang and Li Jianbing, 2010; Zhang Keyun and Li Chen, 2021). After the introduction of the “14th Five-Year Plan”, some studies have put forward the general ideas and specific strategies for optimizing the setting of administrative divisions based on the relationship between administrative divisions and spatial governance (Wang Kaiyong and Chen Tian, ​​2020). In terms of specific implementation, the adjustment direction of county-level administrative divisions should be scientifically determined according to the degree of economic coupling and the strength of economic ties with the city to which they belong (Yang Lin and Xue Qiqi, 2017). From the aspects of transforming government functions and innovating the administrative management system, it returns to the scientific norms of removing counties and establishing districts (Li Jinlong and Zhai Guoliang, 2016). Before and after the promulgation of the Regulations on the Administration of Administrative Divisions, the issue of legalization of changes in administrative divisions has received attention. Some studies have discussed the changes of administrative divisions and even the removal of counties into districts from the aspects of reconstructing the basic principles of changes in administrative divisions, improving change procedures, and strengthening legislation. The issue of the rule of law (Wu Gengyou and Zhou Youyong, 2020; Ma Huaide, 2016; Li Lei, 2016).

Existing research provides an important foundation for our understanding of removing counties into districts, but it still has certain limitations. From the perspective of the research object, compared with the major topic of administrative division change, the research on the removal of counties into districts is obviously insufficient, and it is implicit in the generalization of the academic history of administrative divisions, and there is a lack of special and systematic sorting and summary ( Wang Yuxi, Zhang En, 2021). From the perspective of research content, existing research is mainly based on a single perspective such as public management, geography, and political science. The research, especially from the perspective of law, is obviously insufficient. From the perspective of research methods, although some studies have adopted empirical analysis methods, the integrity of the experience level is not high due to local data. In particular, the analysis of the problem is limited to individual cases, ignoring the differences within the county and the district. Only by removing the overall experience of the counties and districts to discuss, can we have realistic observations and reflections. This forms the research space of this paper.

With the continuous emergence of counties and districts since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the special function orientation of county-level divisions, the systemic, particularity and diversity of the study of county-level divisions should be more prominent. Accordingly, this study adopts the method of empirical analysis and attempts to conduct a special study on the removal of counties and districts from three levels: the first is the “what is” level, that is, to summarize the temporal and spatial evolution of the removal of counties and districts since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Grasp the removal of counties into districts in contemporary China, and judge the development trend of the removal of counties into districts; the second is the “why” level, that is, based on the new national development strategy, to capture the main logical reasons for the removal of counties into districts among many influencing factors; The third is the level of “where to go”, that is, returning to the system norm itself, and exploring the optimization method of removing counties and setting up districts in the future.

3. What is the division of counties into districts: an analysis based on temporal and spatial changes

In order to correctly understand the decommissioning of counties and districts in contemporary China, it is necessary to analyze and grasp the practice of decommissioning counties and districts from the perspective of space and time. From the perspective of evolution, predict and evaluate the development trajectory of removing counties into districts.

(1) Removing counties into districts in the time dimension

In the early days of the founding of New China, the central government stipulated that district governments should be established in cities with a population of more than 100,000. At that time, Xie Juezai said: “If there is no district level in a larger city, the opportunities for people to participate in politics will be reduced, and there are many things that the municipal people’s government can do directly… Districts in cities are different from districts in rural areas. It is the assistant of the municipal people’s government in handling affairs… The establishment of district level in a big city should make the municipal people’s government more sensitive and in-depth in handling affairs for the citizens because of the district level.” (Xie Juezai, 1950) It can be seen that most of the initially established municipal districts are not first-level political units, but the dispatched agencies of the municipal government. As assistants in urban management and services, they reflect a strong color of administrative division (Zhao Jujun, 2018) . In addition to assisting the municipal government in strengthening urban management and providing services, the establishment of districts at this stage is, to a greater extent, out of the need for democratic governance. In 1950, a total of 198 municipal districts were established nationwide. ③

With the recovery and development of the national economy and the consolidation of the new regime, more and more municipal districts have been established. Based on a summary of practice, the 1954 Constitution stipulates: “Municipality directly under the Central Government and larger cities are divided into districts.” At the same time, the Organic Law of Local People’s Congresses and Local People’s Committees at all levels stipulates that municipal districts establish people’s congresses and people’s committees. The municipal district began to transform from the internal structure of the city to the first-level local administrative unit of the city. However, since then, the municipal districts have not ushered in growth, but have declined. This is due to: first, the level of economic development and urbanization during this period was relatively low, the city’s zoning power was insufficient, and the previous municipal districts were relatively chaotic. , At this time, the internal integration of municipal districts is mainly carried out, and the phenomenon of changing counties to districts is rare. Second, in order to avoid the unreasonable phenomenon in the establishment of the municipal system, the State Council decided in 1955: “Cities with a population of more than 200,000, if it is really necessary to divide them into districts, can set up municipal districts… More should be established.” ④ On the one hand, it established the double standard of “population” and “necessity” in the establishment of municipal districts; ⑤ On the other hand, it clarified the principle of “should not establish more”. Against this background, the number of municipal districts has decreased (see Figure 1).

After the reform and opening up, the change of administrative divisions has been widely used. The removal of counties into cities and the removal of counties into districts have become the two main methods of division change to promote urbanization, and 1997 is an important time node (see Figure 2). Before 1997, the number of county-level cities showed an upward trend year by year, while the number of counties decreased from 2,009 in 1978 to 1,520 in 1997. Excluding the merger between counties and the dismantling of counties into districts, counties during this period were The number of declines is roughly equal to the growth of county-level cities. At the same time, although the number of municipal districts increased by 319, there were only 66 cases of decommissioning counties into districts. The growth of municipal districts was mainly due to the establishment of new districts rather than the transformation of counties into districts. The removal of counties into cities was the main type of zoning change during this period. . After the decommissioning of counties and cities was suspended in 1997, the number of municipal districts, counties, and county-level cities increased inversely. The number of municipal districts increased from 737 in 1998 to 977 in 2021, while the number of counties decreased by 215. The number of cities and counties at the county level decreased by 43, and the number of reductions in county-level cities and counties was roughly equal to the increase in the number of municipal districts. At this stage, the removal of counties into districts has become the main type of zoning change, which is a further optimization of administrative divisions on the basis of the previous removal of counties into cities.

Judging from the changes in the number of counties withdrawn into districts over the years (see Figure 3), there have been two “peaks” after the reform and opening up: First, from 1997 to 2002, there were 114 cases of county withdrawals Set up districts. Since the removal of counties into cities in 1997 was strictly controlled, the removal of counties into districts was widely used as a continuation of the policy of removing counties into cities. Therefore, the main method of removing counties into districts at this time was to change county-level cities into districts. There were 67 cases, counties Only 47 cases have been changed. Since population urbanization and land urbanization have not achieved simultaneous development, the practical effect of removing counties into districts needs to be further tested. Cities are also turning to other means, such as district-county mergers. The second is that from 2013 to 2016, after nearly ten years of silence, the county and districts ushered in a new peak of development. With the advancement of “new urbanization with Chinese characteristics” after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and the implementation of fiscal reform measures for counties directly managed by the province, the removal of counties into districts has once again become the main means of zoning changes to adapt to the economic policy of this period. On the one hand, this avoids the weakening of the management power of the original administrative area brought about by the reform of the county directly under the jurisdiction of the province, and expands the development space of the central city through the unified planning and management of the municipal district. On the other hand, under the circumstance that the scale of cities continues to expand and the demand for the flow of production factors continues to increase in the new period, the decommissioning of counties into districts is a reflection of the economic development situation in this period in terms of zoning. However, since 2017, the number of counties and districts has been shrinking significantly. Over the years, there have been fewer than ten cases. The total number of counties and districts in the past five years is only about one-third of the total from 2013 to 2016. Judging from the development stage of removing counties and setting up districts and the current practice of removing counties and setting up districts, this shrinking trend will continue for a long time.

(2) Dismantling counties into districts in the spatial dimension

The relocation of counties into districts is the embodiment of regional economic development at the level of administrative divisions. The different needs of economic development and urban construction in various regions bring about regional differences in the relocation of counties into districts. Overall, since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the practice of removing counties and setting up districts in the seven regions of the country varies greatly (see Table 1). example. From the perspective of the four major economic divisions, the removal of counties into districts mainly occurred in the eastern region, accounting for 42.9%, of which Jiangsu, Shandong, and Guangdong accounted for the most, with 27, 25, and 23 cases, respectively. The second is the western region with 105 cases, most of which are in Sichuan, Chongqing and Shaanxi. There are 81 cases in the central region and 22 in the northeast region. Judging from the overall distribution and quantitative comparison within regions, the practice of removing counties into districts is in line with the hierarchical differences in the process of urbanization and economic and social development in my country.

From the perspective of different historical periods, there are also great differences in the geographical distribution of counties and districts (see Figure 4). First, before the reform and opening up, counties were seldom set up into districts. There were only 19 cases involving 8 provinces, and 16 cases were concentrated in North China. Among them, the municipalities directly under the Central Government had the most cases, with 10 cases in Beijing and Tianjin. Political factors became the main reason for the removal of counties into districts during this period. Second, from 1978 to 1997, during this period, there were 66 cases in which the counties were divided into districts, involving 21 provinces. With the exception of South China, large cities in other parts of the country have continued to withdraw from counties and set up districts. Compared with the previous practice, the regionalization is stronger but the degree of agglomeration is still low. The focus of removing counties and setting up districts shifted from North China to East China and Central China, with 22 and 19 cases, respectively, mainly concentrated in the urban agglomeration in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and the urban agglomeration in the Yangtze River Delta. Third, the period from 1998 to 2012 was the period with the largest number of counties and districts in the four stages, with a total of 146 cases involving 26 provinces. East China is still the most important agglomeration area, and its implementation scope is wider than that in the past two periods; followed by Southwest China. During this period, the regional agglomeration of removing counties into districts continued to increase, and the number of counties and districts between different regions was roughly equal, showing the characteristics of contiguous multi-centers. most groups. Fourth, from 2013 to 2021, a total of 133 cases of evacuation from counties to districts occurred nationwide, involving 27 provinces, mainly in East China, Southwest China, and North China. Compared with the previous stage, the number of counties and districts in North China, Southwest China and Northeast China has increased, and other regions have declined. During this period, the area where counties were withdrawn into districts was more intensive, covered a wider range, and the trend of contiguousness was more obvious. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration had the most counties and districts during this period, followed by the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, Chengdu Chongqing urban agglomeration.

Specifically, from the perspective of the type of municipal system that removes counties into districts, it can be divided into four categories: municipalities directly under the Central Government, provincial capital cities, special economic zones, and other prefecture-level cities. Statistics found that there were 53 cases in municipalities directly under the Central Government, 49 cases in 18 provincial capital cities, 5 cases in three special economic zones in Xiamen, Zhuhai and Shantou, and 257 cases in 166 other prefecture-level cities. Although other prefecture-level cities have the largest number of cases of removing counties into districts, in terms of the frequency of occurrence, municipalities directly under the Central Government have the highest frequency of removing counties into districts, with about 13 cases in each municipality. Followed by provincial capital cities, each provincial capital city has about 3 cases, of which Chengdu and Nanjing have the most, while other prefecture-level cities have an average of about 1.5 cases. This is because municipalities and provincial capitals have higher levels of urbanization, larger economies, stronger demands for development space in central urban areas, and greater radiating and driving effects on surrounding counties. frequently. In addition, the expansion of counties and districts to other prefecture-level cities in a wider range is mainly concentrated after 2012. For example, in the past ten years, 12 cases of Shandong’s removal of counties into districts involved 10 prefecture-level cities, and 10 cases of Guangdong’s removal of counties into districts. Involves 9 prefecture-level cities.

(3) Judgment based on the temporal and spatial evolution of counties and districts

Based on the analysis of the temporal and spatial changes of the county and districts, it is helpful to grasp the future development trend of the county-by-county division. First, on the general trend, the removal of counties into districts will enter a new round of contraction. First of all, after the past two peak periods, a large number of first- and second-tier cities have completed the corresponding adjustment of administrative divisions. Looking at the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, many third- and fourth-tier cities have put the removal of counties into districts on the agenda, and deliberately pursued “No county”, the situation of rushing up and blindly withdrawing counties is not in line with the development law of removing counties into districts and the actual development of cities. The actual effect of some existing counties and districts has not been obvious, and even “pseudo-urbanization” has occurred. At this time, it is more necessary to “cool down” and “correct deviation” from the removal of counties and districts, and change from active promotion to precise control. Secondly, the adjustment of administrative divisions itself has a strong stage feature. After the decommissioning of counties into cities was suspended in 1997, the decommissioning of counties into districts began to enter a period of rapid development. After the trough period, a series of policies issued after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China once again stimulated the implementation of the removal of counties into districts. At present, China has entered a period of urbanization construction with county towns as an important carrier, and the removal of counties into districts will enter a new stage of contraction.

Second, in terms of influencing factors, the economic factor is the main factor but not the decisive factor for removing counties into districts. The administrative division as the superstructure is determined by the economic base. Although there are differences in the motivation of removing counties into districts at different stages, in general, the practical development of removing counties into districts has always been consistent with the level of economic development and urbanization development in different periods and regions. Before the reform and opening up, the motive for removing counties into districts was relatively simple, and economic factors were not the main consideration during this period. The deepening of reform and opening up and the improvement of urbanization have promoted the widespread use of counties and districts. In the future, counties and districts must not be separated from the fundamentals of economic development, such as industrial development, fiscal revenue, and transportation conditions. Of course, the optimization and improvement of the county system is still the result of a combination of factors.

Third, in terms of practical characteristics, the regional agglomeration of removing counties into districts continues to increase. Judging from the current situation of the development of counties and districts, the trend of dismantling counties into districts is more obvious, and the degree of agglomeration has been continuously improved. The multi-centralized development of the center has formed a development trend from decentralized to centralized. With the introduction of the policy of steadily advancing the construction of urban agglomerations and metropolitan areas, in order to realize the integration of counties or suburbs with central cities, the removal of counties into districts in the future will mostly occur in metropolitan areas and large urban agglomerations, and the characteristics of regional agglomeration will continue to increase.

Fourth, in terms of the scope of implementation, the removal of counties into districts has shifted from coastal areas to inland areas, and from central cities to sub-central cities. Affected by the economic foundation and the strategy of “strengthening provincial capitals”, municipalities directly under the Central Government and provincial capitals have achieved urban expansion through a large number of counties and districts. The decommissioning of counties into districts in cities tends to be saturated, and the demand for decommissioning counties into districts from sub-central cities continues to increase. In the past, decommissioning counties into districts has been expanding from municipalities directly under the Central Government and provincial capital cities to general prefecture-level cities, with 148 cases in the past ten years. Among the counties and districts, there were 105 cases in non-municipalities and provincial capitals. In addition, due to the influence of the level of economic development and the needs of urban governance, East China has always been the main area where counties have been removed and divided into districts. However, with the acceleration of urbanization in the northwest and southwest regions, the number of cases of removing counties and setting up districts is increasing and the growth rate exceeds that of other regions, forming a development trend extending from the coast to the inland, from east China to the northwest and southwest.

4. Why did the decommissioning of counties into districts happen: economic logic and governance logic

Different types and stages of administrative division changes have different sources of power, and any type of administrative division change is by no means the result of a single factor. The reflection of economic and social development and governance needs in zoning in a certain period. Based on the new development stage, the logical reasons for removing counties into districts mainly include economic factors and governance factors.

(1) The new development pattern of domestic and international dual circulation provides guidance for the new era of dismantling counties into districts

The global value chain has become a prominent feature of the world economic cycle. However, due to the adverse flow of economic globalization, unilateralism and protectionism prevail, and especially the COVID-19 epidemic has had a huge impact on the world economic order and governance structure, which has caused the world economic growth pattern. Major adjustments, coupled with the continuous expansion of my country’s economic aggregate and domestic demand in recent years, have led to a decrease in the external dependence of China’s economy, a decline in the status of the external circulation, and an increase in the status of the internal circulation. It is for this reason that the “14th Five-Year Plan” regards the construction of a new development pattern of domestic and international dual circulation as one of the guiding ideologies for future economic and social development. The new development pattern requires readjusting the original development model of participating in the formation of the global value chain, improving the viability of my country’s economy, realizing the transformation from passive to active opening to the outside world (Zhang Qianxiao and Li Jialin, 2021), and realizing the international circular strategy from export-oriented industrialization , the strategic transformation to a new development pattern of domestic and international dual circulation with urbanization and industrialization as the core (Zhang Ping, Yang Yaowu, 2021).

The domestic cycle in the new development pattern is a big cycle based on a unified domestic market, and a virtuous cycle of the national economy based on regional economic integration that gets rid of local protection and industry monopoly. Therefore, a corresponding resource allocation system needs to be adapted to it. Putting the foothold of development in the country, providing products and services to the domestic market and using domestic production factors to a greater extent (Tang Duoduo et al., 2020), this puts forward a higher level of free flow of market factors and efficient allocation of resources. It is required that the “administrative regional economy” with market segmentation no longer has room for reasonable existence. The opinions issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on accelerating the construction of a unified national market are aimed at implementing the strategy of the new development pattern and smoothing the domestic circulation. As the spatial carrier of various resources, administrative division adjustment is an important driving force for realizing the concentration of various production factors in advantageous areas and forming a regional economic development pattern. Central cities and urban agglomerations are also the main spatial forms to achieve high-quality regional economic development. In order to achieve the goal of “leading the development of urban agglomerations with central cities and driving regional development with urban agglomerations”, more attention should be paid to optimizing the setting of administrative divisions. (The Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Accelerating the Construction of a Large National Market, 2022)

Xi Jinping pointed out that the urban-rural economic cycle is the proper meaning of the domestic cycle, and it is also a key factor to ensure a healthy domestic and international dual cycle ratio (Xi Jinping, 2022). The county economy is not only the micro-foundation for the construction of a new development pattern of domestic and international dual circulation, but also an important carrier for the coordinated development of urban and rural economies. In order to realize the concentration of various production factors in advantageous areas, it is necessary to break the situation of urban-rural division under the dual system of urban and rural areas, solve the problem of unbalanced regional development, take new-type urbanization as a new development pole, and accelerate the coordinated development of regional economy. By changing the suburban counties adjacent to the central city into municipal districts, making full use of the county’s land resources, transferring and relieving the population, industry and commerce in the central urban area to the new urban area, thus breaking through the bottleneck of urban development and solving the supply and demand of the development space of the central city contradiction. Correspondingly, the county should be continuously transformed into the internal functional structure of the city, accelerate the linkage between the original county and the central urban area of ​​population, industry, transportation and other factors, strengthen the radiation and driving effect on the hinterland of the county, and then coordinate the regional integrated development. Existing evidence shows that the agglomeration effect brought about by the expansion of urban scale through the removal of counties into districts affects the economic development of the jurisdiction, and can improve the allocation efficiency of resources among industries within the city (Deng Huihui and Pan Xueting, 2020). It can be said that, driven by the construction of a new development pattern of domestic and international dual circulation, decommissioning counties into districts is still a “good medicine” to expand urban space, expand urban economic volume, and improve urban energy level.

(2) The modernization of urban governance puts forward new requirements for the removal of counties into districts

Urban governance modernization is an important part of national governance modernization, and strengthening and innovating urban governance is the core content of national governance. In urban governance, although administrative division is not the decisive factor, it is the spatial basis for the reform and operation of the urban management system. Specifically, the modernization of urban governance requires: first, to realize the self-adjustment of the management range and management level of urban administrative divisions, and to improve the governance efficiency of urban administrative organizations; second, to enhance the comprehensive carrying capacity of the city in the process of population urbanization.

Changes in the relationship between cities and counties have always been accompanied by the evolution of administrative division adjustment. At the prefecture-level city level, although the city-county system has cultivated some central cities and strengthened the economic connection between urban and rural areas to a certain extent, it is a planned economy. A product of the times, the forced use of administrative means to bind cities and counties clearly does not match the values ​​of equal competition, free association, mutual benefit and win-win advocated by the market economy (Pu Shanxin, 2006). “City scraping county” and prefecture-level cities suppressing the county economy have led to prominent conflicts between cities and counties. In order to unify the planning of the central city and its counties, coordinate the overall development of prefecture-level cities, and ease the friction of economic interests between cities and counties, it has become a simple and direct path to remove counties and establish districts. In addition to the city-controlled county system, the implementation of the province-directed county-administered system in recent years has also stimulated the implementation of the removal of counties into districts within a certain range. By reducing administrative levels and implementing a “flat” administrative management system, the counties directly under the provincial control are conducive to improving the efficiency of administrative management, breaking the administrative management behaviors that hinder the development of the market economy in prefecture-level cities, and promoting county economic growth. However, the counties directly managed by the province have expanded the autonomous management rights of the county, and the interests of the prefecture-level cities under the system of city management and counties in the past are bound to be affected. The scope of jurisdiction and power has a huge impact (Ye Lin and Yang Yuze, 2017). Compared with the independence of counties, municipal districts are administrative divisions of cities, and their financial and administrative powers are arranged by the city as a whole. Some counties within the scope of urban administrative divisions are changed to districts, which are at the prefecture level under the system of counties directly managed by the province. The game strategy adopted after the city’s interests are damaged is the product of the progressive system innovation of the counties directly managed by the province, thus forming the structure of “no county” or “two-tier system of districts and counties” within the administrative division. Its deep meaning lies in Promote the structural optimization of the relationship between cities, districts and counties (Lin Tuo and Wang Shichen, 2017).

With the strong rise of the socialist market economy, various resources have achieved free flow beyond the restrictions of administrative regions, and with the improvement of traffic conditions, a large number of people have gathered in the center of the city. The expansion of the urban population has not only limited the space for urban development, restricted urban construction and economic development, but also caused administrative management and public services to fail to keep up. Therefore, in the final analysis, the modernization of urban governance should take people as the starting point, improve the comprehensive carrying capacity of the city, and improve the efficiency of government management and services. By changing the counties surrounding the city into districts, on the one hand, it effectively alleviates the development dilemma of tight land use and high population density in the central city, expands the scale of the central city, and improves the comprehensive carrying capacity of the central city and key urban agglomerations; The unified planning and utilization of the original county resources will realize contiguous development and form a unified metropolitan area to improve the efficiency of public services and regional competitiveness. At this time, the removal of counties into districts has become a booster to optimize the urban governance structure and improve the urban governance capacity and level. It is worth noting that the dilemma of urban development should not be solved blindly through extensional expansion. The governance problems and shortcomings of public services in some mega-cities with over-concentrated populations have emerged in the response to the epidemic. Urban governance needs a comprehensive evaluation, and disorderly urban expansion will offset the positive benefits brought by the removal of counties and districts.

5. Where are the counties and districts removed: the road to return to the rule of law

(1) The Constitutional Basis for my country’s Removal of Counties into Districts

Administrative division is a spatially concentrated reflection of the will of a country’s ruling class and multiple factors such as politics, economy, culture, and ethnicity, and its essence is the spatial allocation of state power. The state power structure and political, economic, cultural, and social systems of modern society are highly summarized and regulated by the constitution. As an important part of a country’s political system, the changes of administrative divisions must also be implemented within the framework established by the constitution. It must conform to the spirit of the Constitution and follow the principles of the Constitution. From this point of view, the administrative division system is essentially a constitutional system.

First, Article 30 of the Constitution delineates the practical boundaries of removing counties into districts. Article 30 of the Constitution clarifies that “municipalities directly under the Central Government and larger cities are divided into districts and counties”. The specific explanation for this is that districts and counties are first-level local administrative units under the municipalities directly under the Central Government and larger cities. The establishment, revocation, and change of districts should be carried out within the municipalities directly under the Central Government and larger cities. Therefore, not all counties are likely to be transformed into districts. For example, counties in autonomous prefectures and counties directly under the provincial government are still not allowed to withdraw from the establishment of counties. Area. On this basis, the key to the problem is to define and grasp the concept of “larger city”. The current constitution clarifies that all cities divided into districts enjoy local legislative power.设区的市”取代,《立法法》中“较大的市”的概念再次回到过去狭义上的国务院批准的较大的市。首先,宪法上“较大的市”的范围包含且大于《地方组织法》和《立法法》的规定。由于1954年宪法中“较大的市”的概念远早于《地方组织法》和《立法法》,故从立宪原意来看,宪法中“较大的市”指的是市制区划层面上的较大的“市”和经国务院批准辖区管县的“市”,其判断多基于城市规模、人口数量、经济总量等因素。其次,“设区的市”属于宪法上“较大的市”的组成部分。从“较大的市”的法律概念的发展历程来看,“较大的市”的存在始终伴随着地方立法权的获取,所以“较大的市”包括有立法权的市和没有立法权的市(蔡定剑,2006),拥有地方立法权的“设区的市”自然属于宪法上的“较大的市”。最后,随着城市发展和地方治理需求的扩大,需要规范、明确宪法上“较大的市”的标准。这个判断标准应是综合因素考量的结果,更多属于实践操作标准,而非法律标准,而这种标准的确立属于对宪法规范的执行与具体化。 ⑥

第二,宪法第八十九条确立了撤县设区的职权主体。1954年宪法规定了省、自治区和直辖市的划分由全国人民代表大会批准,自治州、县、自治县、市的划分由国务院批准。据此,省级行政区域划分的权力主体为全国人民代表大会,自治州、县、自治县、市行政区域划分的权力主体为国务院。然而这一规定仅涉及对行政区域的规模、范围和地界的确定,对于某一区划的建置等应该由谁批准并不明确。直到1982年宪法中才加以规定:省级区划的建置由全国人民代表大会批准;省级区域划分以及自治州、县、自治县、市的建置和区域划分由国务院批准。行政区划的建置是指行政区划的构成单位(许安标、刘松山,2003)。一方面,根据不同层级和不同区划变更事项的重要程度,确立不同的职权主体;另一方面,宪法更为全面地对主要的区划变更内容加以规范。据此,撤县设区包括县建制的撤销和区建制的设立,其批准主体应为国务院,而按照逻辑分析,该议案应由省级人民政府提出。此外,《行政区划管理条例》及其实施办法对涉及撤县设区的诸多变更事项、程序、主体等作出规定,构成对宪法第八十九条规范和原理的实施与细化。

(二)我国撤县设区的宪法展开

撤县设区的宪法展开要求最大限度地贯彻实施宪法有关行政区划体制的规范、原则和精神,运用宪法思维推进撤县设区,遵循撤县设区的自身规律。

第一,发挥党在撤县设区实践中的核心作用。宪法确立了党的领导地位,为执政党全面领导国家和社会提供了最直接的规范依据。撤县设区实践中坚持党的领导是党的领导的宪法地位在行政区划领域的体现。一方面,党的领导贯穿于行政区划制度变革全过程,是社会主义行政区划体制改革的特点和优势,成为行政区划由萌芽到探索再到不断成熟的根本保证。另一方面,行政区划变更中坚持党的领导,也是由区划变更工作的自身特性所决定的。撤县设区关乎国家权力配置,既涉及区划内国家机关的设立、撤销或合并,各国家机关与公民、法人和其他组织的法律关系,还涉及国家机关领导干部、公务人员等职务职级变动及履职情况等,特别是针对区划变更中一些涉及多方主体利益的重大事项,处理不好将严重影响地区秩序的稳定甚至引发突发公共事件。无论从宪法规范本身,还是从区划变更工作实际来看,在“党领导一切”的政治原则下,需要在决策方面加强党中央对全国撤县设区的集中统一领导,在实施方面由超越具体业务部门的能够总揽地方全局的省级党委主导。一是基于县制的重要地位及其对国家治理的重大影响,应将撤县设市(区)纳入行政区划的重大调整范畴报党中央批准。二是在地方党委的统筹下,合理规划未来地方行政区划的优化路径,完善省级党委领导撤县设区工作的制度安排,对于撤县设区实践中的重大决定、重大事项,要及时向省级党委请示汇报、协调推进,接受省级党委的监督。⑦三是在省级党委领导下,根据不同县域人口、面积、经济社会发展情况,建立撤县设区地方标准化机制,综合评判哪些县适宜撤县设区。

第二,强化人大在撤县设区实践中的监督作用。宪法的至上性、权威性决定了必须严格遵循宪法所确立的国家权力架构,其他国家机关的行为必须处于国家权力机关的监督之下。《地方组织法》明确规定地方人大有权讨论、决定本行政区域内的政治、经济、文化等工作的重大事项和项目。撤县设区关乎地区经济社会发展、城市治理与居民切身利益,具有极强的复杂性,显然属于地方的重大事项,各地方政府在撤县设区实践中的职权行使也应始终处于人大的监督之下。撤县设区经过人大讨论并认可,即使撤县设区获得法律上的正当性和合法性,也体现了各级人大及其常委会作为国家权力机关的根本特征,应充分发挥全国人大常委会及省级人大常委会在行政区划变更中行使重大事项决定权的作用(莫纪宏,2010)。那么,是否应像有的学者所言,隔级主动变更的由地方权力机关作出最终决定(马怀德,2016),地方权力机关有权否决行政区划变更方案(吴庚祐、周佑勇,2020)?笔者认为,这种“决定-执行”分立的区划变更模式实则是将人大与政府在撤县设区实践中相分离,容易出现实践运行不畅的情况。党领导下的既相互制约又相互协调的国家权力架构,决定了撤县设区实践中人大与政府之间不是对抗式的监督,而是合作式的监督,政府是区划变更的实施主体,撤县设区涉及的众多具体行政事务由政府及其组成部门去完成。因此,应重视撤县设区实践中党领导下的人大与各国家机关的衔接与协调,撤县设区的重大事项均应在党的领导下通过协商合作的方式解决,从而避免出现效率不高、运行不畅的局面。通过向人大征求区划变更意见,人大提前介入区划变更方案的制定,向政府提出质询等程序性手段,实现各国家机关对撤县设区合理合法的共识性判断,通过建立以“沟通”“协商”为主的纠错机制等具体制度,发挥人大在撤县设区实践中的监督效能。

第三,加强撤县设区的程序机制建设。宪法确立的人民当家作主原则和依法治国原则内在要求公权力的行使必须遵循特定的法定程序,对于涉及公共利益的事项也应保证公众参与和加强信息公开。我国的行政区划变更更多地属于国家机关内部的申请、审批事项,缺乏相应的公众参与机制和信息公开制度。行政区划变更的影响范围既包括国家或地方,也包括社会公众。基于依法治国的价值追求以及全面依法治国的深入推进,尤其是《行政区划管理条例》及其实施办法的出台,撤县设区实践中更应充分保障社会公众在其决策和实施过程中的参与权、知情权等,听取公众的意见建议,从而保证撤县设区的民主性、科学性。一方面,按照《重大行政决策程序暂行条例》的要求,引入公众参与机制,在撤县设区的不同阶段多方面听取公众的意见和建议,明确公众参与的主体、方式、程序、意见反馈机制等。另一方面,加强撤县设区全过程信息公开。《行政区划管理条例》及其实施办法中明确了行政区划变更申请材料应包括“征求社会公众等意见的情况”,要求相关主管机关主动公开各种区划变更信息,但对于公开的内容、方式、期限等并不明确,还有待通过具体制度设计加以落实。一是内容上应主要将变更标准、实施过程、决定文书公开,也有学者将公开的信息分为宏观与微观两方面(吴庚祐、周佑勇,2020),或分为申请与审批的公开、审批内容和论证依据的公开、审批结果的公开(马怀德,2016)。还应注意公开与保密的界限,对于国家机关内部尚未形成定论的事项或属于国家秘密的事项不得公开。二是明确区划变更信息的公开期限,对于撤县设区启动后的区划变更信息要及时向社会公开,根据撤县设区的实施进程确定公开期限,及时打消谣言和公众的猜疑。

第四,遵循撤县设区的自身发展规律。行政区划变更是优化空间布局,提升空间治理能力的基础性工程,区域经济一体化的实现也受制于既有的行政区划。因此,各地更加强调通过区划调整来实现区域内各种资源要素的重组整合,增强区域竞争力。然而,地区发展和治理问题并不能单纯依靠区划调整来解决,撤县设区也应遵循自身的客观规律。首先,撤县设区应遵循区域经济发展规律,符合特定时期区域经济发展状况和城市治理需要,坚持水到渠成、“非必要不变更”的原则。近年来,频繁的撤县设区导致“无县城市”不断出现,部分地级市政府为了扩大城市规模,盲目推进撤县设区工作(范毅等,2017)。社会经济发展是行政区划变更的前因,只有当经济发展到一定程度,中心城区空间发展不足,周边县域又急需城区带动,且城市发展困境确由区划问题所致的情况下,才可以考虑撤县设区。完全将城市发展寄希望于区划变更,认为区划变更“包治百病”的想法,是对行政区划变更价值目标的误解。因此,不能盲目将撤县设区作为解决城市发展问题的唯一手段,要更多从区域发展内部入手,转变在行政区划调整上做文章的思路,将立足点放在治理结构的创新和壮大县域经济本身上来。同时,在推动撤县设区的实践过程中,也不能急于求成,撤县设区方案应该经过多方打磨,寻求最大范围的共识。其次,撤县设区应坚持统一规范与因地制宜相结合。各地经济发展程度、人口资源条件等千差万别,撤县设区的需求和标准也不尽相同,在撤县设区的制度设计中应坚持因地制宜,避免“一刀切”,在保证制度原则性、权威性、统一性的要求下,根据各地区差异情况作出适当调整,确保撤县设区制度原则性与灵活性的辩证统一。最后,撤县设区应注重历史文化的传承。区域文化是行政区划的组成要素之一,所以行政区划具有较强的历史与文化承袭性。行政区划是历史演进的产物,任何行政区划的设置、变更等均是特定时期、特定地区的历史文化作用的结果。因此,撤县设区实践中应该充分尊重地区的社会历史和区域文化背景,对各类区划变更事项可能对区域文化传承造成的影响展开充分论证。

六、总结与讨论

随着改革步入深水区,政治体制改革将成为下一阶段推进国家治理现代化的关键,行政区划作为行政体制的空间载体,是政治体制改革的基础与先兆(匡贞胜、虞阳,2020)。对行政区划变更的理解需要从具体类型中加以审视,既有研究大多是对行政区划变更整体性的研究,对具体形式关注较少。本研究尝试连通具体区划变更类型与新的国家发展战略。撤县设区作为新时期落实新型城镇化与区域协调发展的重要区划变更形式,是一个比较适宜的研究切入点。透过撤县设区,既能观察到新时期行政区划调整的趋势与动力,也能把握行政区划调整的优化方向。

本研究通过详细的数据分析发现,撤县设区呈现如下发展态势:总体来看,撤县设区将步入整体收缩阶段。撤县设区的实践发展始终与不同时期不同地区的经济发展程度与城市化发展水平相契合,经济性因素仍是撤县设区的主要因素但非决定因素。撤县设区的连片趋势更加明显,区域集聚性持续增强,并形成由中心城市向次中心城市,由沿海向内陆,由华东向西北、西南延伸的发展走向。

立足新发展阶段,国内国际双循环新发展格局的构建与城市治理现代化的要求为撤县设区提供了新的动力源:其一,新发展格局要求我国调整原有的参与全球价值链形成的发展模式,转向以中心城市和城市群为依托的国内大循环,实现市场要素的自由流动和资源的高效配置,统筹区域一体化发展,撤县设区成为实现这一目标的重要手段。其二,人口城市化的快速推进要求加强和创新城市治理,既要实现城市行政区划管理幅度和管理层级的自我调整,优化市、区、县的关系,也要提升城市的综合承载能力,提高城市治理能力和水平,这在一定程度上刺激了撤县设区的实施。

从法学视角分析,行政区划变更实质是关乎国家权力配置与互动的宪法制度,未来撤县设区应回归法治之路。具体来说,在加强党中央对撤县设区的集中统一领导以及省级党委对撤县设区实施工作主导的基础上,强化国家权力机关在撤县设区实践中的监督效能,并通过引入公众参与机制和加强全过程信息公开,推进撤县设区的程序机制建设。最后,要遵循撤县设区的自身发展规律,坚持“水到渠成、因地制宜、历史传承”相结合的原则。

县一直是国家结构的基本单元,是中国历史最悠久、最稳定的行政建制单位,撤县设区也成为影响县域治理与发展的重要制度安排。那么,撤县设区是否会导致县制的消失?撤县设区是城市化加快与经济社会发展到一定阶段的产物,在一些城市规模大、人口密度强、经济总量高的国家中心城市出现“无县”状态,实则是城市化发展规律下的必然结果。撤县设区是提升城市发展质量的手段而不是目的,在我国这样一个幅员辽阔,地区发展不平衡的国家,并非所有城市都适宜撤县设区,对于县域与中心城区相距遥远,区域经济联系度不高,城市区域辐射力不足,主导产业依旧是农业的地区仍需要县制的存在。因此,“无县化”不是“绝对化”,稳固存在两千多年的县制不仅不会因为撤县设区而消失,反而更应将县域作为城乡融合的重要切入点,发展壮大县域经济。与此同时,尽管宪法明确了撤县设区的实践界限与职权主体,行政法规与部门规章也对此予以细化,但行政区划的立法缺位仍成为优化行政区划设置的桎梏,未来还应制定行政区划法,明确区划设置,变更的主体、标准、程序等,确保行政区划变更遵循基本的法治精神,构建我国行政区划法治保障体系,使行政区划由探索走向成熟,由政策走向法治。

*本文受到四川省哲学社会科学重点研究基地社会治理创新研究中心重点项目“’十四五’背景下撤县设区的实证调查与法治保障研究”(项目编号:SHZLZD2201)的资助。

参考文献:

蔡定剑,2006,《宪法精解》,北京:法律出版社。

陈小华,2013,《试论我国行政区划调整制度的重构》,载《人民论坛》第17期。

邓慧慧、潘雪婷,2020,《“大国大城”如何带动产业升级——来自撤县设区的经验证据》,载《世界经济文汇》第6期。

范毅、徐勤贤、张力康,2017,《城镇化进程行政区划调整与改革成效研究》,北京:中国发展出版社。

高玲玲、孙海鸣,2015,《行政区划调整如何影响区域经济增长——来自中国地级以上行政区划调整的证据》,载《经济体制改革》第5期。

纪小乐、魏建,2019,《行政区划调整如何推动中国城市化的进程:动因、类型与方向》,载《齐鲁学刊》第3期。

匡贞胜,2020,《中国近年来行政区划调整的逻辑何在?——基于EHA-Logistic模型的实证分析》,载《公共行政评论》第4期。

匡贞胜、虞阳,2020,《中国行政区划改革的内卷化风险及其生成机制》,载《人文地理》第2期。

李金龙、翟国亮,2016,《撤县设区的科学规范探究》,载《云南社会科学》第5期。

李雷,2016,《依宪治国背景下完善撤县设区的宪法学思考》,载《云南社会科学》第5期。

李一,2019,《行政区划与城乡发展关联互动视角下的区划调整:理论模型及实践原则》,载《治理研究》第3期。

林拓、王世晨,2017,《国家治理现代化下的行政区划重构逻辑》,载《社会科学》第7期。

吕凯波、刘小兵,2014,《城市化进程中地方行政区划变革的经济增长绩效——基于江苏省“县改区”的个案分析》,载《统计与信息论坛》第7期。

马怀德,2016,《行政区划变更的法治问题》,载《行政法学研究》第1期。

莫纪宏,2010,《行政区域变更工作应当纳入法治的轨道》,载《北京联合大学学报(人文社会科学版)》第3期。

浦善新,2006,《中国行政区划改革研究》,北京:商务印书馆。

汤铎铎等,2020,《全球经济大变局、中国潜在增长率与后疫情时期高质量发展》,载《经济研究》第8期。

唐为、王媛,2015,《行政区划调整与人口城市化:来自撤县设区的经验证据》,载《经济研究》第9期。

田穗生等,2005,《中国行政区划概论》,北京大学出版社。

汪建昌、李建兵,2010,《我国行政区划调整的六大原则》,载《广东行政学院学报》第2期。

王丰龙、张传勇,2017,《行政区划调整对大城市房价的影响研究》,载《地理研究》第5期。

王开泳、陈田,2020,《“十四五”时期行政区划设置与空间治理的探讨》,载《中国科学院院刊》第7期。

王开泳、陈田、刘毅,2019,《“行政区划本身也是一种重要资源”的理论创新与应用》,载《地理研究》第2期。

王开泳、冯润东,2020,《行政区划调整对政区位势的影响与定量化测度》,载《地理学报》第8期。

王婷琳,2017,《行政区划调整与城镇空间结构的变化研究》,载《城市发展研究》第6期。

王禹澔、张恩,2021,《“撤县设区”研究刍议与展望》,载《中国行政管理》第2期。

吴庚祐、周佑勇,2020,《行政区划变更基本原则的反思与重构——以〈行政区划管理条例〉第2条为中心》,载《江苏行政学院学报》第2期。

吴金群、廖超超,2018,《尺度重组与地域重构——中国城市行政区划调整40年》,上海交通大学出版社。

习近平,2022,《坚持把解决好“三农”问题作为全党工作重中之重 举全党全社会之力推动乡村振兴》,载《求是》第7期。

习近平,2017,《习近平关于社会主义经济建设论述摘编》,北京:中央文献出版社。

肖立辉、马国春,2012,《“并县设区”为哪般?》,载《理论视野》第5期。

谢觉哉,1950,《关于人民民主建政工作报告》,北京:人民出版社。

许安标、刘松山,2003,《中华人民共和国宪法通释》,北京:中国法制出版社。

杨林、薛琪琪,2017,《“撤县设区”抑或“撤县设市”?——基于市县经济关联度的视角》,载《山东社会科学》第11期。

杨桐彬等,2020,《行政区划调整对城市化发展失衡的影响——基于撤县设区的准自然实验》,载《现代财经》第8期。

叶林、杨宇泽,2017,《中国城市行政区划调整的三重逻辑:一个研究述评》,载《公共行政评论》第4期。

詹新宇、曾傅雯,2021,《行政区划调整提升经济发展质量了吗?——来自“撤县设区”的经验证据》,载《财贸研究》第4期。

张可云、李晨,2021,《新中国70年行政区划调整的历程、特征与展望》,载《社会科学辑刊》第1期。

张平、杨耀武,2021,《经济复苏、“双循环”战略与资源配置改革》,载《现代经济探讨》第1期。

张倩肖、李佳霖,2021,《构建“双循环”区域发展新格局》,载《兰州大学学报(社会科学版)》第1期。

赵聚军,2018,《我国市辖区行政区划调整导向的合流与分野》,载《天津社会科学》第1期。

《中共中央国务院关于加快建设全国统一大市场的意见》,载《人民日报》2022年4月11日,第1版。

钟粤俊、梁超,2021,《行政区划调整与企业家时间配置:基于撤县设区的视角》,载《财贸经济》第8期。

周少甫、许舜威,2020,《撤县设区对推动城市发展的作用——基于城市建设视角的实证研究》,载《城市问题》第11期。

周振鹤,2009,《体国经野之道——中国行政区划沿革》,上海书店出版社。

【注释】

①《周礼·天官冢宰第一》。

②本文讨论的撤县设区包含将县级市改为区的情形。

③除特别说明外,本文1949年—1997年的数据源于《中华人民共和国行政区划(1949—1997)》(北京:中国社会出版社1998年版);1998年—2020年的数据源于历年《中华人民共和国行政区划简册》,分别由中国地图出版社(1998年—2007年,2012年—2020年)、中国社会出版社(2008年—2011年)出版;2021年的数据根据区划地名网(http://www.xzqh.org)的数据整理获得。

④《国务院关于设置市、镇建制的决定》,载《中华人民共和国国务院公报》1995年第17号,第847—848页。

⑤这一时期市辖区的设立除了需要满足“人口条件”外,“城市需要”也尤为重要,即使人口达到了二十万以上的标准,但若市政府完全有能力做好地区的城市管理和服务工作,也无须设立市辖区,例如泸州市直到1983年才有市辖区的设置。

⑥目前县级市和地级市均有相应的设立标准,但市辖区的设立标准仍不明确。《行政区划管理条例》第十一条规定:市、市辖区的设立标准,由国务院民政部门会同国务院其他有关部门拟订,报国务院批准。

⑦经笔者访谈获悉,某省在撤县设区启动前,省民政部门需要依次向分管民政工作的副省长、省长、省委书记汇报拟撤县设区的情况,经审批同意后再由地方按照法定程序启动变更程序,其中撤县设区方案需经过省政府常务会议研究同意后报省委常委会研究决定,保证整个区划变更程序的科学、统一、协调。

——-
本文来自: https://ift.tt/WZqy7PH
This site is only for inclusion, the copyright belongs to the original author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.