Autonomous Areas

China's Autonomous Areas - Page 1

Autonomous areas of China are specific areas associated with one or more ethnic minorities that are designated as autonomous within the People's Republic of China (PRC). These areas are recognized in the PRC's constitution and are nominally given a number of rights not accorded to other administrative divisions. The actual degree of autonomy of such regions is questioned. This is because their authority rests with the Constitution and the Law on Regional Autonomy, requiring leaders to seek prior approval from the National People's Congress (NPC) to pass legislation. This is not true for other provinces, which can pass legislation without such prior approval. For this reason, it has been contended that Autonomous regions are in fact "less autonomous." The PRC's autonomous regions may be found in the first (or top) to third levels of its national administrative divisions thus:

Level Type Number
1. Province Autonomous Regions of China 5
2. Prefecture Autonomous Prefectures of China 30
3. County Autonomous Counties of China 117
3. County Autonomous banners of China 3

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The Blang village of Manpo, Xishuangbanna