The general ethnic policy of China would not be changed, but improvements would be made to meet new situations, said Yang Jing, minister in charge of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, on Sunday.
Yang made the remarks at a press conference following the release of the white paper China's Ethnic Policy and Common Prosperity and Development of All Ethnic Groups.
Wu Shimin, vice minister of the commission, said at the same press conference China would enhance its ethnic policies to facilitate the development of the autonomous regions.
"One important aim of the ethnic policy is to boost the economies in the ethnic autonomous regions since they lag behind other provinces and municipalities in the country despite years of fast development," Wu said.
Wu said efforts would be made to improve living standards of the people of ethnic minorities.
He said the government would also strengthen legal systems in the autonomous regions.
"Regional ethnic autonomy is an important legal system, and the country's Constitution and the spirit of the law will be better embodied in the growth of the autonomous regions," Wu said.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, 56 ethnic groups have been identified and confirmed by the central government.
China has five autonomous regions, 30 autonomous prefectures and 120 autonomous counties or banners for ethnic minorities.
(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2009)