International standard ISO 3166-2 has always listed what I call the secondary subdivisions of Taiwan as if they were primary. It uses the name "Taiwan, Province of China" for the area covered. That is a slight misnomer, because the ROC controls part of Fukien, which all parties seem to agree is a separate province from Taiwan. Those of us with memories of 1960 may recall that a big issue in the televised debates between Nixon and Kennedy was what to do about Quemoy and Matsu, the main islands of Fukien controlled by the ROC.
"Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, was issued on
2014-03-31. It gives codes for the two counties in Fukien province:
TW-KIN for Kinmen and
TW-LIE for Lienkiang.
Its codes for all the other municipalities match the ISO codes. After the ISO update of 2015-11-27, the codes, statuses, and names given
in the two standards match perfectly except for the code for New Taipei. GENC still uses the old code,
The draft standard (1996) listed two provinces, two special municipalities, sixteen districts, and five municipalities. There was an
unexplained overlap: Taiwan province actually included the territory of all sixteen districts and five municipalities. Each division was
given a three-letter code. Whenever possible, the IATA airport code for the division's main city was used; elsewhere, the ISO working
group assigned arbitrary three-letter abbreviations. There were some ambiguous codes.
TNN represented both Tainan district
and Tainan municipality, which are actually disjoint but adjacent entities on the secondary level.
KHH represented both
Kaohsiung special municipality and Kaohsiung district, which are not only disjoint but on different levels. The final standard (1998)
lists the same subdivisions, except that the two provinces were dropped, and the name and code of one municipality were changed from
CHI) to Keelung (
KEE). (Chilung and Keelung are alternate romanizations of the same Chinese name.)
Dropping the two provinces eliminated the overlap of Taiwan province, but left the ROC-administered part of Fukien province, consisting of
Quemoy, Matsu, and other islands, unrepresented. There were still duplicate codes, until ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-4 was issued on
2002-12-10. It modified the codes for six of the districts, eliminating duplicate codes. On 2015-11-27, ISO issued more updates, deleting
three districts, adding the two districts of Fukien province, changing the code for New Taipei from
and changing the status of four subdivisions.
Update 2 to "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" was published on 2010-11-30. For Taiwan, it revoked the province codes and replaced
them by a set of county and municipality codes, shown below under "FIPS." Update 4, issued on 2011-04-30, revoked three of the codes that were
issued in Update 2:
TW11 for Kaohsiung county,
TW20 for Taichung county, and
TW22 for Tainan
county. It also changed the name and status of Taipei county to New Taipei municipality.
|New Taipei City||s||4,054,467||2,053||Panchiao||207-208, 220-253|
CYI, Hsinchu was
HSZ, Kaohsiung was
KHH, Taichung was
TXG, Tainan was
TNN, and Taipei was
TPE. Newsletter number I-4, dated 2002-12-10, changed the codes for those six counties, to eliminate the duplicate codes. The new codes are shown in the table below. Even with the revisions, some of the ISO province codes were duplicates of some of the ISO county codes.
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