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横州到南宁高速公路通车

In this news item of Xinhua, the reporter doesn't know that 横州 (Hengzhou) was known as 横县 (Hengxian County) and is still placed under the administrative authorities of 南宁(Nanning).

In other words, 南宁 consists of seven districts, four counties, and one county-level city that is 横州.

As currently I reside in Nanning, I notice this wrong very easily because as you cannot say there is a highway connecting Beijing with China, so the expressway between 横州 and 南宁 makes no sense.

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  • That is just how we name segments of road. In the main text you can see: 南宁市区到横州. But it's too clumsy to name a segment "横州到南宁市区段" Commented Jan 1 at 13:57
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    This wikipedia page describes a metro line called 宁高城际铁路. But in fact 宁 is 南京 and 高 is 高淳, 高淳 is a county under 南京. This doesn't invalidate the name. Everyone knows 宁 refers to 南京市区. Commented Jan 1 at 14:07

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So firstly, language wise, when one says 南宁, they are most likely referring to the downtown area (市区). If you want to talk about a specific area (县 or 村), you would more likely refer to its name directly.

This also plays into the complicated nature of the Chinese administrative divisions. As you mentioned, 横州 is a county-level city (县级市), county-level cities fall under the management of prefecture-level cities (地级市) or provinces (省) directly. But we usually say that they are being managed by the prefecture-level cities than just part of them. More specifically, the provinicial government may appoint a prefecture-level city to "manage" (代管) a prefecture-level city. So there is ownership in the sense of 南宁 gets to make choices about things in 横州, but 南宁 doesn't own 横州 in the sense that it owns its districts.

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  • As far as I know, the managing counties on behalf of others no longer exists. Previously, each province had a specialized agency called the Prefecture Administrative Office(地区行政公署), and the counties under its jurisdiction had no affiliation with the city where the office was located. In this case, there was an office that has been revoked called 南宁地区行政公署, which had the jurisdiction over 横县 (now 横州). So this county is owned by Nannning undoubtedly. Another problem is out of the 7 districts of Nanning, which is the downtown area that is included in the calculation of the length of the highway? Commented Jan 2 at 14:09
  • As you know, with different downtown area as the destination, the length of the highway starting from 横州 is considerably different. As an important national level news agency, Xinhua should be accurate and not leave so much to be desired. Commented Jan 2 at 14:13

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