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Encyclopedia > Autonomous region of China
This article is part
of the series:
Political divisions of China
Province level
Autonomous regions
Special Administrative Regions
Prefecture level
Autonomous prefectures
Prefecture-level cities
(incl. Sub-provincial cities)
County level
Autonomous counties
County-level cities
(incl. Sub-prefecture-level cities)
Autonomous banners
Township level
District public offices
Ethnic townships
Ethnic sumu

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.

Name Chinese (S) pinyin Designated minority Local name Abbreviation Capital List of county-level divisions
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 广西壮族自治区 Guǎngxī Zhu qū Zhuang Zhuang -
Gvaŋзsiь Bouчcueŋь Sɯcigi
桂 gu Nanning List of county-level divisions
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 内蒙古自治区 N iměnggǔ Z qū Mongol Mongolian -
r Mongghul-un bertegen Jasaqu Orun
内蒙古 n iměnggǔ Hohhot List of county-level divisions
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region 宁夏回族自治区 N ngxi qū Hui (The Hui speak Chinese) 宁 n ng Yinchuan List of county-level divisions
Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region 新疆维吾尔族自治区 Xīnjiāng W 'ěrz qū Uighur Uighur -
?injaŋ Uyġur Aptonom Rayoni
新 xīn Urumqi List of county-level divisions
Tibet Autonomous Region 西藏自治区 Xīz ng Z qū Tibetan Tibetan -
བོད་རང་སྐྱོང་ལྗོངས /
藏 z ng Lhasa List of county-level divisions

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In predominately Muslim Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
From snow-capped mountains and frozen lakes at 16,000 feet, to balmy wetlands, desert terrain, and Mt. Everest, the remarkable land of Tibet.
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Also called Sinkiang Uighur Autonomous Region, 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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