China road numbering

Last updated on 16 March 2017

Roads in the People's Republic of China are numbered G, S or X, and four different categories (not including expressways and express routes) exist:

Non-expressways and non-express routes

Yichang-Hubei-S334-7km-4827.jpg
A typical kilometer marker on a provincial road (Hubei's S334; distance is measured from Yichang center city)
  • G routes stand for guódào (国道), or China National Highways. These roads often exist to liaise between different centres.
  • S routes stand for shěngdào (省道), or provincial-level roads (e.g. S205 of Beijing and S303 of Inner Mongolia, none of Beijing or Inner Mongolia is a province).
  • X routes stand for xiàndào (县道), or county-level roads.
  • Y routes stand for xiāngdào (乡道), or township-level roads and C routes stand for cūndào (村道), or village-level roads . Those roads are seldom marked with Y or C on maps, instead, Chinese characters are used; one can see Y and C marking almost exclusively on kilometer markers.

G, S, and X roads often become city roads as of the delimitation of the city. At the city border, control of the road switches from the gonglu side (public road administration) to the shizheng side (city government).

Expressways and express routes

Yuxi - Yanhe jiedao - P1350883.JPG
A section of Yunnan Provincial Hwy 214 (the broken marker, on the ground) in Yuxi has now been redesignated as county route 935 (the new marker)

Expressways of China use a new numbering. The labelling of the former three digit 0-series G routes (e.g. G020) was replaced by a system that uses one digit for expressways starting in Beijing (e.g. G5), two digits for long-distance expressways (e.g. G30) and four digits for regional and local expressways (e.g. G9411).

See also

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