On November 27, 1954, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture was set up, which was a vice provincial-level regional ethnic autonomous division taking care of the three regions of Ili, Tacheng and Altay, with the Kazakh as the major ethnic group. At that time, within this autonomous prefecture there were already 5 townshiplevel, 6 district-level and 2 county-level autonomous divisions for the Mongol, Xibe, Hui, Kirgiz and Daur people respectively in areas these minority groups lived in compact communities. The Kazakh took around 40% of the population in the three regions of Ili, Tacheng and Altay, and 85% of the entire Kazakh population throughout China (in 1953). In addition, these three places were geographically adjacent and all were bases for the three-region revolution.
To apply regional ethnic autonomy there would be more conducive to better unity and cooperation among different ethnic groups and the economic and cultural development in the three regions. Therefore, with the official approval from the Central Government, the CPC Central Committee Xinjiang Bureau and the Xinjiang Provincial People's Government set up Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, which ran 24 counties and cities^41. Xinjiang gradually realized subprovincial regional ethnic autonomy from the smaller to bigger divisions, which meant the conditions for establishing the provincial autonomous region were getting increasingly ready.
In the practice of introducing regional ethnic autonomy, the installation of autonomous governments became more and more rational and standardized. In accordance with the Implementing Guidelines of the People's Republic of China for Regional Ethnic Autonomy in 1952, all regional ethnic autonomous divisions were called “autonomous areas” in the beginning stage, but they had six different levels, including the provincial, xingshu, zhuanshu, county, district and township ones. The identical names were prone to generate confusion. In addition, district and county regimes had too few population and too small area to exercise autonomous rights in reality. On July 23, 1954, the CPC Terrakotta krieger 2016 china Central Committee Xinjiang Bureau passed on the Instruction of the CPC Central Committee United Front Department Concerning Suspending the Establishment of and Changing Sub-County-Level Regional Ethnic Autonomous Divisions, which decided that the administrative status of ethnic autonomous organs throughout the country included three levels—autonomous region, prefecture and county, and that no new sub-county level ethnic autonomous areas would be set up and existing ones should be changed to ethnic townships.