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UPDATED: December 11, 2008
Most Lawmakers in Tibet Are Ethnic Minorities
Residents in Tibet showed increased participation in elections

Regional ethnic autonomy is practiced in Tibet Autonomous Region with lawmakers from the Tibetan and other ethnic groups holding 94 percent of the seats in local legislatures, a senior regional lawmaker said.

There are more than 34,000 delegates from Tibet to People's Congress at region, city, county and town levels, said Adain, vice chairman of the standing committee of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Congress.

Residents in Tibet showed increased participation in elections, as 96.4 percent of voters voted last year to elect members of the incumbent legislatures, up from 93.1 percent in 2002 and 91.6 percent in 1991, Adain said.

Adain said that the concept of "Tibet independence" promoted in Dalai's "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People," would never be accepted by the people in Tibet.

The Chinese government has policies in place for the autonomy of ethnic minorities.

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, established in 1947, was the first autonomous region for ethnic minorities in China. It was followed by the Xinjiang Uygur, Guangxi Zhuang, Ningxia Hui and Tibet autonomous regions.

Under the unified leadership of the Chinese government, regional autonomy for ethnic minorities is practiced in areas where there are concentrated populations of ethnic minorities. Self-governing bodies are established in these areas for the exercise of autonomy.

As of 2007, China has established 155 ethnic autonomous areas. Of these, five are autonomous regions, 30 autonomous prefectures and 120 autonomous counties.

Among the country's 55 ethnic minorities, 44 have autonomous areas -- covering 75 percent of the total ethnic minority population.

(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2008)

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