What level of autonomy does the autonomous region of Xinjiang really have?


Autonomous regions, prefectures, counties, and banners are covered under Section 6 of Chapter 3 (Articles 111–122) of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, and with more detail under the Law of the People's Republic of China on Regional National Autonomy (《中华人民共和国民族区域自治法》). The constitution states that the head of government of each autonomous areas must be of the ethnic group as specified by the autonomous area (Tibetan, Uyghur, etc.). The constitution also guarantees a range of rights including: independence of finance, independence of economic planning, independence of arts, science and culture, organization of local police, and use of local language. In addition, the head of government of each autonomous region is known as a "chairman", unlike provinces, where they are known as "governors".

The constitution state one thing, but after the terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, the government put in place measures to crackdown on terrorists and censor some cultural works originating from Xinjiang that were seen as subversive and began cracking down on some religious practices. Those thing didn't seem to come from the autonomous region itself, but the Central government, so to what extent are the autonomous regions really independent?

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