An autonomous region, used in the context of China, translates for zizhiqu (自治区 z qū), which are province-level divisions with a designated ethnic minority, and are guaranteed more rights under the constitution than provinces. For example, they have a chairman (where regular provinces have governors), who must be of the ethnic group as specified by the autonomous region (Tibetan, Uighur, etc)
Autonomous regions were established after communist takeover, following Soviet nationality policy. There are five in total.
Also called Sinkiang UighurAutonomousRegion, it is bounded on the west and north-west by Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, on the north-east by the Republic of Mongolia, on the east by the provinces of Gansu (Kansu) and Qinghai (Ch'ing-hai), on the south by Tibet, and on the south-west by India and Afghanistan.
In the centre the Tian Mountains cross the region from east to west; several fertile valleys and plains are interspersed among the lofty peaks of the Tian Mountains.
A dry region, it is dominated by the Takla Makan Desert.
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