18 April 2010

Autonomous Regions in China

Dear TCG

What are China's so called "Autonomous Regions"? (Im not talking about Hong Kong, I mean Tibet, Xinjiang, Ningxia, Guangxi and Inner Mongolia) Why were they given this designation? and just how Autonomous are they?

Kevin B

Dear Kevin

That is a HUGE question, why do you guys never ask me easy questions like everybody asks the Korean?


The autonomous Regions in China are areas where the Han Chinese people are not the majority. Han make up 91.9% of Chinese population. It is a bit of a copy of the Buryat republic and the Jewish autonomous region as well as Yakutia in Siberia they are supposed to be indenpendent but in reality are not fully independent and cannot break away into a separate country the PRC government most definately would not allow them to do this.

PRC law is suprememe to all other law even in the S.A.R of Hong Kong and Macau. The very short answer is that they are allowed to make local laws that are specific to that specific region that PRC top level law does not cover, for example in the UK London has various laws that are only applicable to London and nowhere else. The Congestion charge and the right to put parking meters on bike parking bays are an example of this.

Again this is a yes no answer, in that they have some autonomy but they are still part of the the overall Chinese government, the autonomous regions can Ask to do things such as raise taxes, create security forces even trade with foreign nations independently. But they have to ask the main government of the PRC for permission first, and if they say no then they can't. They can't ask to leave or setup a completely independent state and if they do the PRC government doesn't like it

The mere fact that the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) has had to send troops to Xinjiang and Tibet says no.

Also even in Ningxia the highest ranking official who people have a limited say in voting for, is still beneath the Communist Party official.

So yes they can do certain things, such as make their own laws, but only if the top level government says yes.

So really they have some extra rights (for example they can have as many children as they want unlike Han families) but are not really very autonomous due to the manner in which anything they decide needs to be sought permission for from the top level of government.


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