Autonomous regions of China

An autonomous region (AR; simplified Chinese: 自治区; traditional Chinese: 自治區; pinyin: zìzhìqū) is a first-level administrative division of China. Like Chinese provinces, an autonomous region has its own local government, but an autonomous region has more legislative rights. An autonomous region is the highest level of minority autonomous entity in China, which has a comparably higher population of a particular minority ethnic group.

The Inner Mongolia autonomous region was established in 1947; Xinjiang was made autonomous in 1955; Guangxi and Ningxia in 1958, and Tibet in 1965. The designation of Guangxi and Ningxia as Zhuang and Hui autonomous areas, respectively, was bitterly protested by the local Han Chinese, who made up two-thirds of the population of each region. Although Mongols made an even smaller percentage of Inner Mongolia than either of these, the ensuing Chinese Civil War gave little opportunity for protest.[1]

Autonomous region
China autonomous regions numbered
CategoryUnitary state
Location People's Republic of China
Populations3,002,166 (Tibet Autonomous Region) – 46,026,629 (Guangxi)
Areas66,000 km2 (25,600 sq mi) (Ningxia) – 1,665,000 km2 (642,800 sq mi) (Xinjiang)
GovernmentSingle-party government
SubdivisionsPrefecture-level city, Prefecture, League, Sub-Provincial Autonomous Prefecture, Autonomous Prefecture

List of autonomous regions

Name in English Simplified Chinese
Local name
SASM/GNC romanization (Language)
Abbreviation Capital
Zhuang Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 广西壮族自治区
Guǎngxī Zhuàngzú Zìzhìqū
Gvangjish Bouxcuengh Swcigih (Zhuang)
(南宁; Nanzningz)
Mongol Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
(Nei Mongol Autonomous Region)
Nèi Měnggǔ Zìzhìqū
ᠦᠪᠦᠷ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠤᠯ ᠤᠨ ᠥᠪᠡᠷᠲᠡᠭᠡᠨ ᠵᠠᠰᠠᠬᠣ ᠣᠷᠣᠨ
Öbür mongγol-un öbertegen zasaqu orun (Mongolian)
Nèi Měnggǔ
(呼和浩特; ᠬᠥᠬᠡᠬᠣᠲᠠ)
Tibetan Tibet Autonomous Region
(Xizang Autonomous Region)
Xīzàng Zìzhìqū
Poi Ranggyong Jong (Tibetan)

(拉萨; ལྷ་ས།)
Uyghur Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region 新疆维吾尔自治区
Xīnjiāng Wéiwú'ěr Zìzhìqū
شىنجاڭ ئۇيغۇر ئاپتونوم رايونى
Xinjang Uyĝur Aptonom Rayoni (Uyghur)

(乌鲁木齐; ئۈرۈمچی‎)
Hui Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region 宁夏回族自治区
Níngxià Huízú Zìzhìqū
The Hui speak Chinese



Administrative Division National Share (%) 2010 Census[2] 2000 Census[3] 1990 Census[4] 1982 Census[5] 1964 Census[6] 1954 Census[7]
Guangxi 3.5 46,026,629 43,854,538 42,245,765 36,420,960 20,845,017 19,560,822
Inner Mongolia 1.9 24,706,321 23,323,347 21,456,798 19,274,279 12,348,638 6,100,104
Ningxia 0.5 6,176,900 5,486,393 4,655,451 3,895,578 * *
Tibet 0.2 3,002,166 2,616,329 2,196,010 1,892,393 1,251,225 1,273,969
Xinjiang 1.6 21,813,334 18,459,511 15,155,778 13,081,681 7,270,067 4,873,608

Ethnic composition of Autonomous Regions (%, 2000)

Administrative Division Titular Ethnic Group Han Chinese Third Largest Ethnic Group
Xinjiang (Uyghur) 45.21% 40.58% 6.74% (Kazakh)
Tibet (Tibetan) 92.8% 6.1% 0.35% (Hui)
Inner Mongolia (Mongol) 17.13% 79.17% 2.14% (Manchu)
Ningxia (Hui) 33.9% 65.5 % 1.16% (Manchu)
Guangxi (Zhuang) 32.0% 62.0 % 3.0% (Yao)

Note: In the "Third Largest Ethnic Group" column is the ethnic group given in brackets, after the names of the autonomous regions and Han people.

See also



  1. ^ Dreyer, June Teufel (1997). "Assimilation and Accommodation in China". In Brown, Michael Edward; Ganguly, Šumit (eds.). Government Policies and Ethnic Relations in Asia and the Pacific. MIT Press. p. 365.
  2. ^ "Communiqué of the National Bureau of Statistics of People's Republic of China on Major Figures of the 2010 Population Census". National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 2013-07-27.
  3. ^ 现将2000年第五次全国人口普查快速汇总的人口地区分布数据公布如下. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29.
  4. ^ 中华人民共和国国家统计局关于一九九〇年人口普查主要数据的公报. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 2012-06-19.
  5. ^ 中华人民共和国国家统计局关于一九八二年人口普查主要数字的公报. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 2012-05-10.
  6. ^ 第二次全国人口普查结果的几项主要统计数字. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14.
  7. ^ 中华人民共和国国家统计局关于第一次全国人口调查登记结果的公报. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 2009-08-05.
2008 Chinese winter storms

The 2008 Chinese winter storms (2008年中国雪灾、2008年中国南方雪灾) were a series of winter storm events that affected large portions of southern and central China starting on 25 January 2008 until 6 February 2008. The systems affected most of the area with heavy snows, ice and cold temperatures causing extensive damage and transportation disruption for several thousand travelers. It became China's worst winter weather in half a century. According to some media sources the storms were directly responsible for at least 129 deaths.

Autonomous prefecture

Autonomous prefectures (Chinese: 自治州; pinyin: Zìzhìzhōu) are one type of autonomous administrative divisions of China, existing at the prefectural level, with either ethnic minorities forming over 50% of the population or being the historic home of significant minorities. All autonomous prefectures are mostly dominated, in population, by the Han Chinese. The official name of an autonomous prefecture includes the most dominant minority in that region, sometimes two, rarely three. For example, a Kazakh (Kazak in official naming system) prefecture may be called Kazak Zizhizhou. Like all other prefectural level divisions, autonomous prefectures are divided into county level divisions. There is one exception: Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture contains two prefectures of its own. Under the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, autonomous prefectures cannot be abolished.

Bilingual education

Bilingual education involves teaching academic content in two languages, in a native and secondary language with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model.Bilingual education refers to the utilization of two languages as means of instruction for students and considered part of or the entire school curriculum.

China Huaneng Group

China Huaneng Group Co., Ltd., as known as CHNG or Huaneng Group, is one of the five largest state-owned electric utility enterprises in China, administrated by the State Council of the People's Republic of China. It engages in the investment, construction, operation and management of power generation assets and the production and sale of electricity power. In 2012, the company was ranked the 246th on the Fortune 500 list.

China National Highways

The China National Highways (CNH/Guodao) (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国国道; traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國國道; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guódào) is a network of trunk roads across mainland China. Although they are called "highways" (e.g., the Jingbao Highway), they are not necessarily freeways. However, like expressways, a toll is sometimes charged.

Democracy Party of China

The Democracy Party of China (DPC; simplified Chinese: 中国民主党; traditional Chinese: 中國民主黨; pinyin: Zhōngguó Mínzhǔ Dǎng) is a political party that started in the People's Republic of China, and was banned by the Communist Party of China (CPC). The history of the DPC and its foundation date is unclear because it has many historical paths under different groups of founders. It is generally recognized to have assembled in 1998 by democracy activists and former student leaders from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests according to western sources.


Guangxi ([kwàŋ.ɕí] (listen); formerly romanised as Kwangsi; Chinese: 广西; Zhuang: Gvangjsih, officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in south China and bordering Vietnam (Hà Giang, Cao Bằng, Lạng Sơn, and Quảng Ninh Provinces). Formerly a province, Guangxi became an autonomous region in 1958.

Guangxi's location, in mountainous terrain in the far south of China, has placed it on the frontier of Chinese civilization throughout much of China's history. The current name "Guang" means "expanse" and has been associated with the region since the creation of Guang Prefecture in 226 AD. It was given provincial level status during the Yuan dynasty, but even into the 20th century it was considered an open, wild territory.

The abbreviation of the region is "桂" (Pinyin: Guì; Zhuang: Gvei), which comes from the name of the city of Guilin, the provincial capital during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The current capital is Nanning.

Inner Mongolia

Inner Mongolia or Nei Mongol (Mongolian: Mongolian script: Öbür Monggol, Mongolian Cyrillic: Өвөр Монгол Övör Mongol /ɵwɵr mɔŋɢɔɮ/; simplified Chinese: 内蒙古; traditional Chinese: 內蒙古; pinyin: PRC Standard Mandarin: Nèi Měnggǔ, ROC Standard Mandarin: Nèi Ménggǔ), officially the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region or Nei Mongol Autonomous Region (NMAR), is one of the autonomous regions of the People's Republic of China, located in the north of the country. Its border includes most of the length of China's border with Mongolia (Dornogovi, Sükhbaatar, Ömnögovi, Bayankhongor, Govi-Altai, Dornod Provinces). The rest of the Sino–Mongolian border coincides with part of the international border of the Xinjiang autonomous region and the entirety of the international border of Gansu province and a small section of China's border with Russia (Zabaykalsky Krai). Its capital is Hohhot; other major cities include Baotou, Chifeng, and Ordos.

The Autonomous Region was established in 1947, incorporating the areas of the former Republic of China provinces of Suiyuan, Chahar, Rehe, Liaobei and Xing'an, along with the northern parts of Gansu and Ningxia.

Its area makes it the third largest Chinese subdivision, constituting approximately 1,200,000 km2 (463,000 sq mi) and 12% of China's total land area. It recorded a population of 24,706,321 in the 2010 census, accounting for 1.84% of Mainland China's total population. Inner Mongolia is the country's 23rd most populous province-level division. The majority of the population in the region are Han Chinese, with a sizeable titular Mongol minority. The official languages are Mandarin and Mongolian, the latter of which is written in the traditional Mongolian script, as opposed to the Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet, which is used in the state of Mongolia (formerly often described in the West as "Outer Mongolia").

Kashin–Beck disease

Kashin–Beck disease (KBD) is a chronic, endemic type of osteochondropathy (disease of the bone) that is mainly distributed from northeastern to southwestern China, including 15 provinces. Tibet currently has the highest incidence rate of KBD in China. Southeast Siberia and North Korea are other affected areas. KBD usually involves children ages 5–15. To date, more than a million individuals have suffered from KBD. The symptoms of KBD include joint pain, morning stiffness in the joints, disturbances of flexion and extension in the elbows, enlarged inter-phalangeal joints, and limited motion in many joints of the body. Death of cartilage cells in the growth plate and articular surface is the basic pathologic feature; this can result in growth retardation and secondary osteoarthrosis. Histological diagnosis of KBD is particularly difficult; clinical and radiological examinations have proved to be the best means for identifying KBD. Little is known about the early stages of KBD before the visible appearance of the disease becomes evident in the destruction of the joints.This disease has been recognized for over 150 years but its cause has not yet been completely defined. Currently, the accepted potential causes of KBD include mycotoxins present in grain, trace mineral deficiency in nutrition, and high levels of fulvic acid in drinking water. Selenium and iodine have been considered the major deficiencies associated with KBD. Mycotoxins produced by fungi can contaminate grain, which may cause KBD because mycotoxins cause the production of free radicals. T-2 is the mycotoxin implicated with KBD, produced by members of several fungal genera. T-2 toxin can cause lesions in hematopoietic, lymphoid, gastrointestinal, and cartilage tissues, especially in physeal cartilage. Fulvic acid present in drinking water damages cartilage cells. Selenium supplementation in selenium deficient areas has been shown to prevent this disease. However, selenium supplementation in some areas showed no significant effect, meaning that deficiency of selenium may not be the dominant cause in KBD. Recently a significant association between SNP rs6910140 of COL9A1 and Kashin–Beck disease was discovered genetically, suggesting a role of COL9A1 in the development of Kashin–Beck disease.

List of Chinese administrative divisions by ethnic group

The list below outlines the distribution of the nationalities of China among provinces and province-level entities of the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) according to the census of 2000. The provinces and province-level entities are listed by region. The classification of ethnic groups follows the official classification of the PRC.

Some ethnic groups, for instance, Mosuo people, although classified as Nakhi, do not regard themselves as part of any of the 56 groups identified by the PRC government. Some scholars made hypothesis that they are descendants of Mongols.

Taiwan is completely under the administration of the Republic of China, is excluded from this list. Please refer to Demographics of Taiwan for more information. The two special administrative regions (S.A.R.) of the P.R.C., namely Hong Kong and Macau, are not part of mainland China are also excluded. Please refer to Demographics of Hong Kong and Demographics of Macau.

Autonomous regions are marked with an asterisk (*).


Ningxia (Chinese: 宁夏; Mandarin pronunciation: [nǐŋ.ɕjâ]; formerly romanised as Ningsia), officially the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR), is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China located in the northwest part of the country. Formerly a province, Ningxia was incorporated into Gansu in 1954 but was separated from Gansu in 1958 and was reconstituted as an autonomous region for the Hui people, one of the 56 officially recognised nationalities of China. Twenty percent of China's Hui population lives in Ningxia.Ningxia is bounded by Shaanxi to the east, Gansu to the south and west, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to the north and has an area of around 66,400 square kilometres (25,600 sq mi). This sparsely settled, mostly desert region lies partially on the Loess Plateau and in the vast plain of the Yellow River, and features the Great Wall of China along its northeastern boundary. Over the years an extensive system of canals has been built. Extensive land reclamation and irrigation projects have made increased cultivation possible.

Race Across the World

Race Across the World is a British television competition programme, in which teams of two race around the world to be the fastest to reach their destination. The programme, commissioned by David Brindley and Michael Jochnowitz, is broadcast on BBC Two and narrated by John Hannah.

Regional ethnic autonomy system of China

Regional Ethnic Autonomy System (区域民族自治制度) of People's Republic of China give ethnical minorities in China a political system to assemble autonomous government body, protects ethnic minorities' rights and provides ethnic minority people benefits. It is one of the basic political systems in China. This fundamental system was aimed at achieving ethnical equality in China. The content of this system is the establishment of autonomous government body, exercising autonomous rights and enacting regional autonomy in areas where many ethnical minority people live together.It is based on People’s Republic of China Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law enacted in 1984 amended in 2001 and Provisions on Implementing the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law enacted in 2005.

Secession in China

Secessionism in China is represented by movements in Taiwan, Inner Mongolia, the Tibet Autonomous Region, and Xinjiang Autonomous Region.On another note, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (RoC) both claim sole sovereignty over China. However, the PRC controls and administers Mainland China (and the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau), while the RoC controls and administers the Taiwan area.

Special committee of the National People's Congress

A special committee (simplified Chinese: 全国人民代表大会专门委员会; traditional Chinese: 全國人民代表大會專門委員會; pinyin: Quánguó Rénmín Dàibiǎo Dàhuì Zhuānmén Wěiyuánhu) is a legislative committee in the National People's Congress (NPC), the national legislature of the People's Republic of China. Article 35 of the Organic Law of the National People's Congress specifies that the NPC shall create an Ethnic Affairs Committee, a Law Committee, a Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, an Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, a Foreign Affairs Committee, and an Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee, as well as any other special committees that it deems necessary. Over time, the NPC has added an Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee, an Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee, an Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, and Social Development Affairs Committee, for a total of ten special committees.Article 37 of the Organic Law indicates that the functions of special committees are to include deliberating on bills and proposals received from the Presidium and Standing Committee, submitting bills and proposals to the same, examine and report on items considered to contravene the Constitution and laws, examine questions referred by the Presidium and Standing Committee, and investigate and propose solutions to issues. The Ethnic Affairs Committee can additionally make proposals to strengthen ethnic unity and review legislation related to the Autonomous regions of China. The Law Committee deliberates on all draft laws submitted to the NPC.Shi Hexing, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, has written that special committees have strengthened the NPC and the people's congress system as a whole. Wan Li, former Chairman of the National People's Congress, also emphasized the great importance of special committees. In 2005, the General Office of the NPC Standing Committee issued "Several Opinions on Giving Full Scope to the Role of Special Committees," which further strengthened them by setting a specific work system and procedures.


Tacheng (塔城), as the official romanized name, also transliterated from Mongolian as Qoqak, is a county-level city (1994 est. pop. 56,400) and the administrative seat of Tacheng Prefecture, in northern Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, one of the autonomous regions of China.

The city was sometimes called Tarbaghatay or Tarbagatai (Mongolian: 'having marmots') and was once known in European languages as Chuguchak (based on its name in the Mongolian language).

The current official Chinese name Tacheng is an abbreviation of "Tarbaghatay City". The current Uyghur name is Qöqäk transliterated from Mongolian.

It is located in the Dzungarian Basin, some 10 km (6.2 mi) from the Chinese border with Kazakhstan. For a long time it has been a major center for trade with Central Asia because it is an agricultural hub. Its industries include food processing, textiles, and utilities.

Tibet Autonomous Region

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region, called Tibet or Xizang for short (Chinese: 西藏; pinyin: Xīzàng; Mandarin pronunciation: [ɕí.tsâŋ]; literally: 'Western Tsang'; Tibetan: བོད་, Wylie: Bod, ZYPY: Poi, Tibetan pronunciation: [pʰø̀ʔ]), is a province-level autonomous region in southwest China. It was formally established in 1965 to replace the Tibet Area, an administrative division the People's Republic of China (PRC) took over from the Republic of China (ROC) about five years after the dismissal of the Kashag by the PRC following the 1959 Tibetan uprising, and about 13 years after Tibet's incorporation into the PRC in 1951.

The current borders of the Tibet Autonomous Region were generally established in the 18th century and include about half of ethno-cultural Tibet. The Tibet Autonomous Region is the second-largest province-level division of China by area, spanning over 1,200,000 km2 (460,000 sq mi), after Xinjiang, and mostly due to its harsh and rugged terrain, is the least densely populated provincial-level division of the PRC.


Xinjiang (Uyghur: شىنجاڭ; SASM/GNC: Xinjang; Chinese: 新疆; pinyin: Xīnjiāng; formerly romanised as Sinkiang), officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), is a provincial-level autonomous region of China in the northwest of the country. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2 (640,000 square miles). Xinjiang contains the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, which is administered by China and claimed by India. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia (Bayan-Ölgii, Khovd and Govi-Altai Provinces), Russia (Altai Republic), Kazakhstan (East Kazakhstan and Almaty Provinces), Kyrgyzstan (Issyk Kul, Naryn and Osh Regions), Tajikistan (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region), Afghanistan (Badakhshan Province), Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan), and India (Jammu and Kashmir). The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang's borders, as well as its western and southern regions. Xinjiang also borders Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. The most well-known route of the historical Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border. In recent decades, abundant oil and mineral reserves have been found in Xinjiang, and it is currently China's largest natural gas-producing region.

It is home to a number of ethnic groups, including the Uyghur, Han, Kazakhs, Tibetans, Hui, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Mongols and Russians. More than a dozen autonomous prefectures and counties for minorities are in Xinjiang. Older English-language reference works often refer to the area as Chinese Turkestan. Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range. Only about 9.7% of Xinjiang's land area is fit for human habitation.With a documented history of at least 2,500 years, a succession of people and empires have vied for control over all or parts of this territory. The territory came under the rule of the Qing dynasty in the 18th century, which was later replaced by the Republic of China government. Since 1949, it has been part of the People's Republic of China following the Chinese Civil War. In 1954, Xinjiang Bingtuan was set up to strengthen the border defense against the Soviet Union, and also promote the local economy. In 1955, Xinjiang was turned into an autonomous region from a province. In the last decades, the East Turkistan independent movement, separatist conflict and the influence of radical Islam have both resulted in unrest in the region, with occasional terrorist attacks and clashes between separatist and government forces.

Autonomous regions
Special administrative regions
Articles on first-level administrative divisions of Asian countries
Sovereign states
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