New China brought about the system of regional autonomy for national minorities. Organs of self-government were set up in regions where people of national minorities live in compact communities， and the internal affairs of the national minorities were handled by themselves. At present， there are throughout the country 159 national autonomous areas， including five autonomous regions， 30 autonomous prefectures and 124 autonomous counties (or banners)。 National autonomous areas exercise all rights of self-government in accordance with the Law of the People‘s Republic of China on Regional National Autonomy and may work out autonomous rules and specific regulations according to local political， economic and cultural characteristics. Without violating the Constitution and the law， autonomous regions have the right to adopt special policies and flexible measures; autonomous organs can apply for permission to make alterations or desist from implementing resolutions， decisions， orders and instructions made by higher-level state organs if they are not in accordance with the situation in autonomous regions. Organs of self-government have the right to handle local financial， economic， cultural and educational affairs. In regions where people of a number of ethnic groups live together or in scattered communities， more than 1，500 national townships were established so as to enable national minorities to enjoy equal rights to the fullest.