According to the Local Government Act, the local government in the ROC (Taiwan) is subdivided into provinces and special municipalities. Provinces are subdivided into counties and cities; counties are subdivided into rural townships, urban townships and county-administered cities. Special municipalities and cities are subdivided into districts. Since 1999, the provincial government has become a branch of the Executive Yuan (the cabinet), while the province is no longer a local self-governing body. Special municipalities and counties as well as cities are the first level of self-governing bodies. Currently, the ROC comprises six special municipalities (Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung), 13 counties (Hsinchu, Miaoli, Changhua, Nantou, Yunlin, Chiayi, Pingtung, Yilan, Hualien, Taitung, Penghu, Kinmen, and Lienchiang) and three cities (Keelung, Hsinchu, and Chiayi).
A province has a provincial government and a provincial consultative council. The provincial government is a branch under the Executive Yuan that executes the orders of the Executive Yuan and supervises matters governed by the counties and cities. In addition, a provincial consultative council provides advice and recommendations on provincial affairs to the provincial government.
Special Municipality Level
A special municipality has a municipal council and a municipal government, which act respectively as the legislative and administrative branches of the municipality. The members of the municipal council are popularly elected to four-year terms and are eligible for re-election. The municipal government has a mayor who represents the special municipality to the public, is responsible for general administrative affairs, is elected by popular vote to serve a four-year term, and serves no more than two consecutive terms.
County (City) Level
Each county and city has a council and government. The council acts as the legislative branch of the county or city. Its members are elected by popular vote to four-year terms, and are eligible for re-election. County and city governments act as the administrative branches of counties and cities. County governments are headed by magistrates and city governments by mayors, who represent the county or city to the public and are responsible for general administrative affairs of the county or city government. A county magistrate also supervises the self-governance of rural townships, urban townships, and county-administered cities. Both magistrates and mayors are popularly elected to four-year terms and serve no more than two consecutive terms.